CASA worries fix for departmental mishap may come at the cost of
improving financial assistance in the future
OTTAWA, Jan. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Today HRSDC announced credit protection
would be provided, free of charge, for those individuals whose personal
information was stored on an external hard-drive that has gone missing
from the department. For individuals who are now aware that their
information has been compromised, this was very likely welcome news.
"What we are most concerned about in the long run is the implications
this unexpected expenditure could have on federal financial assistance
for students," said Zachary Dayler, National Director for the Canadian
Alliance of Student Associations (CASA). "We need to know how much the
government expects this to cost, and if it will impact the funding of
the financial assistance programs that hundreds of thousands of
Canadian students depend on."
At present, very little information has been made available about what
costs the government will be responsible for covering. Students are
extremely worried that the implications of this coverage could be
financially debilitating for the department and student financial
assistance in the years to come.
CASA has sent a request to Minister Finley's office for information
related to the credit protection service. In the attached letter, CASA
outlines its concerns and requests answers to the following questions:
What is the annual cost to the government to cover one individual with
credit protection services?
What does the government expect to incur in annual costs for the sum
total of credit protection for affected borrowers?
What does the government estimate the maximum annual cost to be for
credit protection if provided to all affected borrowers?
Will the government ensure that funding to the Canada Student Loans
Program and Canada Student Grants Program will not be affected by any
re-allocation of funds to cover the costs of the credit protection
service being provided?
CASA believes that the government is doing the right thing by providing
credit protection to those affected that request it.
"We understand that mistakes happen," added Dayler. "Accountability is
absolutely crucial, but CASA believes that government should ensure
this assistance for past borrowers does not come at the expense of
those who need to borrow for education today and in the future."
To read the letter sent to Minister Finley in its entirety, click here.
The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations is a non-partisan,
not-for-profit organization with 25 member associations, representing
300,000 students across Canada. CASA advocates for a Canadian
post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, and of
the highest quality.
SOURCE: CANADIAN ALLIANCE OF STUDENT ASSOCIATIONS
For further information:
To arrange an interview with Zachary Dayler please contact:
Rob LeForte, Government Relations Officer
O. (613) 236-3457 ext. 221, M. (613) 720-5726