Volume 93, Issue 85

Friday, March 10, 2000


Don't bank on student loans

Faculty review gets top grades

ASA, MSA protest atrium celebration

Casinos a favourite for Canucks

McSorley opens NHL wounds

Increases make gas unsettling

Taking stock in the time that's left

Bass Ackwards

Caught on campus

Don't bank on student loans

By Stephanie Cesca & Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

Post-secondary students will no longer be negotiating student loans with banking institutions, after an announcement by the federal government yesterday.

Gino Trifiro, communications advisor for Human Resources Development Canada, explained a policy decision was made to allow the HRDC to take control of the Canada Student Loan Program instead of banks.

Trifiro said students would not be affected by this move at all. Students currently in school who borrow money from the program would continue to negotiate with banks. However, as of July, when the government's contract with the banks expires, the loan money will come from the federal government instead.

Canadian Association of University Teachers executive director James Turk said the announcement was good news for students. "Banks have been shaping student loan policy contrary to the benefit of students," he said, adding returning control of the student loan program to elected government officials places students in a better position.

Royal Bank spokesperson Jeff Keay said his institution would like to remain a part of the program. "We have always been committed to the student loan program," Keay said. "We want to work with students and other financial institutions.

"We see today's students as tomorrow's home buyer and tomorrow's car buyer and Registered Retirement Savings Plan contributor," he said. "It's in everyone's interest."

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce spokesperson Susan McDougall said it was not the choice of her bank to pull out of the student loan business. "We are disappointed. We were prepared to deliver the CSLP with the terms of the contract," she said. "We've been very supportive of the government and the program."

Normally when students borrow money for schooling, 60 per cent comes from the federal government while 40 per cent is donated by the province. Since it's inception in 1964, the CSLP has assisted over 2.7 million full-time students, providing more than $15 billion in subsidized loans, Trifiro said.

However, Mark Kissel, VP-education for Western's University Students' Council and Ontario chair for the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations, said the present program had proved to be ineffective.

"The banks have been losing millions and millions of dollars every year and the government has had to bail them out," he said. "It's not bad news. It's not going to mean anything for students."

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2000