Government of Canada announces its annual transfer to Quebec for student
financial assistance programs

GATINEAU, QC, Feb. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada has transferred $125,804,150 to the Government of Quebec in support of its student financial assistance programs for the 2008-2009 school year. The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of post-secondary education and will continue to support students in Quebec," said Minister Paradis.

In 1964, Quebec chose not to participate in the Canada Student Loans Program (CSLP). Instead, the Province receives every year alternative payments from the Government of Canada, in support of its own student financial assistance programs. Since 1964, Quebec has received a total of almost $3 billion in alternative payments.

On August 1, 2009, the Government of Canada introduced the Canada Student Grants Program so that students have less student debt, and are better able to afford their post-secondary studies. These grants provide students from low- and middle-income families up to $3,000 and $1,200 respectively per academic year for all years of undergraduate study. In January 2011, as part of its annual alternative payment for the 2009-2010 school year, Quebec will receive approximately $115 million to compensate for the new Canada Student Grants Program.

This payment provides more money in support of Quebec student financial assistance programs as it surpasses the previous annual payment of $80 million under the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, which was dissolved earlier this year.

The Northwest Territories and Nunavut have also opted out of the Canada Student Loans Program and receive annual alternative payments from the Government of Canada in support of their student financial assistance programs.

For more information about Canada Student Loans and Grants, visit www.CanLearn.ca.

This news release is available in alternative formats on request.

    
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Canada Student Loans Program

The Canada Student Loans Program has provided loans and grants to students across Canada since 1964. Nine provinces and one territory currently participate in the program.

Quebec, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut operate their own student financial assistance programs and receive funding from the federal government through an alternative payment. In other jurisdictions, the Canada Student Loans Program is integrated with or offered alongside provincial and territorial student financial assistance programs.

Alternative Payments

Alternative payments normally occur six months after the end of the school year. Payments for the 2009-2010 school year will be made to Quebec in January 2011.

Each year, the Government of Canada pays an alternative payment to the governments of Quebec, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and which they use to support their own student financial assistance programs. This compensation is based on the per-capita cost of running the federal program in participating jurisdictions. The per-capita cost is calculated using the 18- to 24-year-old population.

Canada Student Grants Program

As of August 1, 2009, Canada Student Grants are available to help students and families manage the cost of post-secondary education. Under this program, 245,000 post-secondary students from the participating jurisdictions will receive approximately $514 million in grants each year.

Eligibility for most Canada Student Grants is automatically assessed when a student qualifies for a Canada Student Loan. More than 245,000 college and undergraduate students are expected to benefit from the new grants each year, an increase of over 100,000 students from previous grant programs.

Students may qualify for one or more of the Canada Student Grants, which include new grants for students from low- and middle-income families, part-time students, students with permanent disabilities, and students with dependants. Grants do not have to be paid back.

Quebec students do not receive these grants directly because the Government of Quebec opted out of the Canada Student Loans Program and instead receives an alternate payment from the Government of Canada in lieu of direct grants to students.

Additional information about student financial assistance is available on www.CanLearn.ca.

SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: For further information: (media only): Michelle Bakos, Press Secretary, Office of Minister Finley, (819) 994-2482; Media Relations Office, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, (819) 994-5559


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