UCRU Press Release on Fed COVID-19 Announcement

For Immediate Release
Students Applaud Federal Government Pausing Student Loan Repayment

The Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities is thankful that the Canadian government is taking action to pause student loan repayment and provide other supports for students.

Vancouver, BC, March 18, 2020. Today, during the release of Canada’s economic response plan for COVID-19, the federal government announced a six-month interest-free moratorium on repayment of Canada Student Loans.

The Undergraduates of Canadian Research-Intensive Universities (UCRU) applauds the upcoming suspension of loan payments on the federal portion of student debt. UCRU recently collaborated with Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) on a letter that called on the Canadian government to support Canada’s workers and post-secondary graduates affected by the economic effects of COVID-19. During a time where young people in Canada are vulnerable as holding work becomes precarious, they may be ineligible for Employment Insurance (EI), and must make payments for rent, food, and other necessities, actions like these make a difference. “Graduates should not have to decide between buying groceries and paying student debt”, said Cristina Ilnitchi, Chair of UCRU and Vice-President External Affairs for the UBC Alma Mater Society, “this swift and decisive action by the Canadian government will make this crisis more manageable for millions of Canadians and we thank Minister Hussen and Minister Qualtrough for this work”. This government announcement also includes important funding to sexual assault centres for those fleeing violence, to Indigenous communities, lowering barriers to apply for EI, and introducing the Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit for those who are not eligible for EI.

UCRU will continue to monitor the rollout of this suspension and continue dialogue about any additional actions the government can take to aid Canada’s students during this difficult time.

UCRU is a national coalition of student unions from U15 post-secondary institutions across Canada that represents the interests of over 250,000 students. Together, we advocate to the federal government to build a more accessible, affordable, and supportive education for undergraduate students.

For more information please contact:

Cristina Ilnitchi
Chair, UCRU
Vice-President External Affairs, AMS of UBC