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Human Rights Commission to pay Income Assistance clients directly

Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, Alfred Moses, is acknowledging a decision made by the Human Rights Commission.

The Commission decided to nullify how they process Income Assistance payments made to clients. The decision was made due to reports the previous system was discriminatory.

Moses’ statement follows:

The Department of Education, Culture and Employment provides residents of the Northwest Territories with Income Assistance benefits to assist with basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.

In 2010, at the request of the Hamlets, community members and the District Education Authorities, the Department agreed to provide a food voucher payment system to suppliers in the communities of Tuktoyaktuk, Ulukhaktok and Aklavik.

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While one of the primary principles of the Income Security Programs is providing consistent, equitable access to all of our programs, in unique circumstances we will work with communities to ensure the security and well-being of members.

The Department recently received a Decision made by the Human Rights Commission that the food voucher system is discriminatory.

As a response to the claims, Moses said by February, all IA clients across the Territory will be receiving their payments directly.

We will continue to deliver programs that encourage self-reliance and ensure that they respond to the needs and realities of our residents.

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