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One of Canada's federal research funding organizations had to delay the deadline to apply for a COVID-19 emergency program because of a major network outage that hit multiple government institutions.

All three funding organizations — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) — tweeted about their networks being knocked offline on June 26.

SSHRC said Friday it was extending the deadline to apply for the first stage of the Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund, meant to help COVID-19 research, because of a "system outage." The council tweeted Saturday morning that it was still experiencing technical difficulties.

CIRC said Friday morning that Shared Services Canada, which is responsible for providing information technology services to government, was "experiencing a government-wide outage affecting all of our internal and external services and applications."

Shared Services Canada confirmed to National Observer on Friday that it was "aware of the incident affecting some departments." A spokesperson for the organization said it was "working to remedy the situation as quickly as possible."

Carl Meyer / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada's National Observer