Student loan repayments suspended to lessen cost burden during pandemic

COVID-19 April 7 report

Students concerned about employment this summer got some help today.

The province is suspending repayment of Manitoba Student Aid loans for six months to reduce the financial burden on post-secondary students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier Brian Pallister and Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.

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Effective April 1, the Department of Economic Development and Training has suspended all repayments of loans under the Manitoba Student Aid Program through Sept. 30.  The temporary stoppage of repayments parallels a similar suspension put in place by the federal government under the Canada Student Loan Program, also through Sept. 30.

Canada's premiers support provincial borrowing initiative

The Manitoba government’s recent proposal the federal government borrow on behalf of provincial governments and loan that money to provinces as part of a collective financial response to COVID-19 has received the support of all premiers in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

Ottawa can borrow in international financial markets at a lower interest rate than individual provinces can, saving hundreds of millions of dollars that can be redirected to health care and economic recovery actions.  Section 18(c) of The Bank of Canada Act states: “The Bank may buy and sell securities issued or guaranteed by Canada or any province.”

“The federal government has been innovative and responsive in dealing with the fallout from COVID-19 on behalf of Canadians,” said Pallister.  “This is another, increasingly urgent way we can adopt a ‘Team Canada’ approach to fight this pandemic together, as we are doing right here in Manitoba with all our partners, to ensure we all come out of this pandemic stronger and more united than ever.”

COVID-19 BULLETIN #44

Public health officials advise 13 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified as of 9:30 a.m., bringing the total number of lab-confirmed positive and probable positive cases in Manitoba to 217.  In addition, a third death has been reported.  Patient specific details are not being released at this time.

The data also shows:

•    12 individuals are currently hospitalized, which includes six individuals in intensive care;

•    21 individuals have recovered from COVID-19; and

•    the total number of deaths reported in Manitoba is three.

Cadham Provincial Laboratory performed 781 tests Monday.  A total of 14,280 tests have been performed since early February.

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