Photo by Mariah Wilson

Federal and provincial student loan relief among emergency COVID-19 measures

By Kristy Koehler, March 21 2020—

On Wednesday, March 18, the federal and provincial governments announced relief for people with student loans. 

Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government announced a series of economic measures that provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadians. Students were not forgotten in the aid measures.

“Many young Canadians who are starting out in their careers are worried about what this uncertainty will mean to their finances,” said Minister of Finance Bill Morneau during a press conference in the morning. “We’re putting in place a six monthht, interest free moratorium on Ccanada student loan paybacks. This means nearly a million Canadins will have an extra $160 a month during this period.”

The Alberta Government followed suit later in the day with their own six-month, interest-free moratorium on provincial student loan payments. This decision comes at just the right time for many, as interest rates on provincial student loans were set to rise April 1 from prime to prime plus one per cent.

The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) praised the United Conservative Party’s decision. 

“This moratorium on interest and payments for Alberta Students Loans will greatly benefit graduates who are in repayment,” said Sadiya Nazir, CAUS chair and vice-president external of the University of Calgary Students’ Union. “While this is a temporary measure, this will allow families more flexibility with their upcoming expenses during these difficult times.”

Both the provincial and federal changes are expected to take place March 30.

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