Fourth Session, 44th General Assembly
51 Elizabeth II, 2002
AN ACT RESPECTING STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Received and Read the First Time
|Committee||Dec. 12/02 Amendment|
HONOURABLE SANDRA KELLY
Minister of Youth Services and Post-Secondary Education
Ordered to be printed by the Honourable House of Assembly
The purpose of this Bill is to revise the law with respect to student assistance in the province.
AN ACT RESPECTING STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
1. Short title
3. Educational institutions
5. Agreements with lenders
6. Financial institution
7. Certificate of eligibility
8. Payments not assignable
9. No right to payments
11. Appeal board
13. Subrogation and collection
14. Liability of minor
15. Ministerial regulations
16. Lieutenant-Governor in Council regulations
17. Fees and forms
18. Offence and penalty
21. RSNL1990 cS-29 Rep.
Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as the Student Financial Assistance Act.
2. In this Act
(a) "board" means the appeal board established under section 11;
(b) "borrower" means a person to whom a loan is made in accordance with a certificate of eligibility issued under this Act;
(c) "certificate of eligibility" means a certificate of eligibility issued under section 7;
(d) "department" means the department presided over by the minister;
(e) "educational institution" means an institution of learning, whether within or outside the province, that offers courses at a post-secondary level and that is designated under section 3;
(f) "federal Act" means the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act (Canada);
(g) "lender" means
(i) where acting in that capacity, the Crown, and
(ii) a financial institution designated by the minister;
(h) "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act; and
(i) "qualifying student" means a person who
(i) is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident within the meaning of the Immigration Act (Canada),
(ii) is a resident of the province, and
(iii) is qualified for enrolment or is enrolled at an educational institution.
3. (1) A person may apply to the minister to have an institution of learning designated as an educational institution.
(2) Where an application is made under subsection (1) and the applicant meets the requirements established by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council under the regulations, the minister may designate the institution of learning as an educational institution.
4. (1) The minister may, in order to carry out the purpose of this Act, enter into and amend agreements with the government or an agency of the government of another province, territory and of Canada with respect to
(a) the exchange of information and records related to student financial assistance;
(b) the joint undertaking of projects;
(c) payment to or by the province of contributions in respect of the cost of projects referred to in paragraph (b); and
(d) the harmonization and administration of federal, provincial and territorial financial assistance programs.
(2) The minister may enter into an agreement with a person or a private or public agency or organization
(a) with respect to the exchange of information and records relating to student loans and other forms of student financial assistance; and
(b) to promote the purpose of this Act.
Agreements with lenders
5. The minister may, with the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, enter into and amend an agreement with a lender with respect to the making of student loans and the provision of other forms of student financial assistance.
6. The minister may, in writing, designate the financial institutions that may be lenders under this Act.
Certificate of eligibility
7. (1) A qualifying student may, in the form required by the minister, apply to the minister for a certificate of eligibility to receive a loan.
(2) The minister may issue to a qualifying student who applies under subsection (1) a certificate of eligibility for a period of studies at an educational institution provided that the qualifying student complies with and meets the requirements established by regulation.
(3) A certificate of eligibility shall state the social insurance number of the qualifying student and the maximum amount of financial assistance that may be given to that student.
(4) The maximum amount of financial assistance referred to in subsection (3) shall be set in accordance with the regulations.
Payments not assignable
8. An amount of money payable under this Act shall not be assigned, charged, alienated, attached, anticipated or given as security and a transaction purporting to assign, charge, alienate, attach, anticipate or give as security such an amount is void.
No right to payments
9. A person is not entitled as a matter of right to receive, obtain or have paid on account of or in respect of that person an amount of money authorized under this Act.
10. (1) Where, under this Act, a person receives or obtains an amount of money to which he or she is not entitled or an amount of money in excess of the sum to which he or she is entitled, that amount shall be recovered in the manner required by regulation.
(2) Subsection (1) applies notwithstanding that a person has been or will be prosecuted for an offence arising out of his or her receipt of money as described in subsection (1).
11. (1) The minister shall, in accordance with the regulations, appoint a panel of persons to act as a student assistance appeal board.
(2) The board may be divided into one or more committees.
(3) A decision or action of the Student Aid Appeals Committee established under the Student Allowances Regulations, Newfoundland Regulation 165/87, whether or not that decision or action occurred before or after the lapsing of those regulations, is not invalid by reason of that lapsing or the dissolution of that committee because of that lapsing.
12. (1) A person may make an appeal to the board with respect to a denial, term, condition, amount of a loan, financial assistance, interest or payment relief made or established under this Act.
(2) Appeals made under subsection (1) shall be made in accordance with the regulations.
(3) The board or a committee of the board shall, in writing and not more than 10 days after the hearing and consideration of an appeal, notify the appellant of its decision and the reasons for that decision.
(4) A decision of a committee of the board and of the board on an appeal is final and binding.
Subrogation and collection
13. (1) Where the government of the province has paid money to a lender to fulfil the obligations of a borrower under a loan made under this Act, the government of the province has the same right to collect from the borrower the amount paid to the lender and interest that the lender would have had if the government of the province had not made that payment.
(2) Money owed to the government of the province under an agreement, by subrogation or otherwise under this Act, may be collected as a civil debt owed to the Crown.
Liability of minor
14. A qualifying student under 19 years of age is bound by a loan contracted by him or her under this Act, and this Act applies as if he or she had attained the age of majority at the time when the contractual liability arose.
15. (1) The minister may make regulations
(a) defining, for the purpose of this Act, a word or term not defined in this Act;
(b) respecting the assessment of need for a certificate of eligibility under this Act;
(c) respecting the disclosure of financial and other information, reports and documentation for the purpose of this Act;
(d) respecting the payment by borrowers of fees, costs, insurance premiums and insurance coverage, expenses and disbursements, legal or otherwise, incurred by a lender or the Crown in endeavouring to recover loans made to a borrower under this Act;
(e) respecting qualifying students, full time students, certificates of eligibility and requirements for receiving a certificate of eligibility;
(f) respecting the recovery of loans, awards and grants given in error or in excess of an amount permissable under this Act;
(g) respecting the composition of a panel of persons to the board, committees of, chairperson of, appeals to, administration and procedures of the board, terms of office and vacancies on the board;
(h) respecting the administration of grant, loan, debt reduction, relief and remission programs and respecting the persons or classes of persons who are eligible for a grant, loan, debt reduction, relief or remission program;
(i) adopting provisions of the federal Act and regulations made under that Act; and
(j) respecting evidence to be provided and oaths or affirmations to be made for the purpose of the Act.
(2) The minister may establish policies and procedures for the purpose of the administration and implementation of this Act and regulations.
(3) Regulations made under this section may be made with retroactive effect.
Lieutenant-Governor in Council regulations
16. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) to establish minimum requirements for the designation of educational institutions;
(b) to establish standards and requirements necessary to maintain a designation as an educational institution;
(c) to establish circumstances and conditions under which a designation as an educational institution may be revoked and reinstated;
(d) respecting interest free periods, payment deferrals and loan forgiveness;
(e) respecting amounts of financial assistance that may be provided;
(f) respecting the repayment of financial assistance to a lender and to the Crown;
(g) respecting the terms for loans remission, debt reduction, grant programs and interest relief;
(h) respecting debt relief relating to death or disability;
(i) that adopt provisions of the federal Act and regulations made under that Act with respect to matters referred to in paragraphs (a) to (h) and respecting the application of those provisions; and
(j) generally to give effect to the purpose of this Act.
(2) Regulations made under this section may be made with retroactive effect.
Fees and forms
17. The minister may set fees and establish forms for the purpose and administration of this Act.
Offence and penalty
18. (1) A person who, either orally or in writing makes a false statement or misrepresentation or gives false or misleading information for the purpose of obtaining a certificate of eligibility or assisting another person in obtaining a certificate of eligibility commits an offence.
(2) A person who contravenes this Act commits an offence.
(3) A person who commits an offence under this Act is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $5,000, and for a subsequent offence to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000.
(4) A person who is convicted of an offence under this Act shall not apply for and is not eligible to receive a certificate of eligibility under this Act.
(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4) and not fewer than 3 years after a person has been convicted of an offence under this Act, the minister may, where he or she considers it appropriate, determine that an application for a certificate of eligibility may be made by and granted to that person.
19. (1) The minister shall annually prepare a report on the administration of this Act for the preceding academic year and shall table that report before the House of Assembly within 30 days of the completion of the report and if the House of Assembly is not sitting, within 30 days of the commencement of the next sitting.
(2) In addition to a report under subsection (1), the minister may prepare and make public a report on the administration of this Act that may include student financial assistance default rates and write-offs generally and with respect to specific programs and educational institutions.
(3) For the purpose of subsection (1), "academic year" means a year commencing on August 1 of a year and ending on July 31 of the following year.
20. (1) Where, before the coming into force of this Act, a loan was granted to a person considered to be a qualifying student under the federal Act for an amount of money in excess of the amount allowed under the federal Act, this Act shall apply to that loan of the excess amount and that qualifying student from the time when that loan was granted to him or her.
(2) This Act shall apply to an agreement and loan made under the Student Assistance Act in force before the coming into force of this Act as if that agreement or loan were made under this Act.
RSNL1990 cS-29 Rep.
21. The Student Assistance Act is repealed.
22. This Act shall be considered to have come into force on August 1, 2002.
©Earl G. Tucker, Queen's Printer