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STUDENT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE ACT

STUDENT FINANCIAL
ASSISTANCE ACT

Chapter S‑20.5

(Assented to May 14, 2002)

Table of Contents

                1       Interpretation

                2       Application

Part 1
Administration

                3       Minister’s general responsibilities

                4       Students Finance Board

                5       Chair and vice‑chair

                6       Board committees

                7       Function and duties of the Board

Part 2
Provisions Applicable to Financial
Assistance Generally

                8       Agreements with public or private entities

                9       Agreements with other financing institutions


              10       Direct assistance from Government

              11       Agreements with service providers

              12       Eligibility and terms and conditions for financial assistance

              13       Minority

              14       Limitation of actions

              15       Fraud and failure to provide information

Part 3
Provisions Applicable Only to Loans

              16       Application of Part and form of loans

              17       Loan limits

              18       Agreements with students

              19       Certificates of eligibility

              20       Payment, reduction and write‑off

              21       Subrogation

Part 4
Miscellaneous Provisions

              22       Regulations

              23       Transitional and savings provisions

              24       Consequential amendments

              25       Repeals

              26       Coming into force

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, enacts as follows:

Interpretation

1(1)  In this statute,

                             (a)    “agreement” means an agreement entered into under this Act;

                             (b)    “Board” means the Students Finance Board continued by section 4(1);

                             (c)    “eligible student” means a student who is eligible under section 12(1) for financial assistance;

                             (d)    “financial assistance” means monetary assistance, in all or any of its forms as the case may be, that has been or that may be provided under this Act;

                             (e)    “financing institution” means

                                     (i)    with respect to financial assistance other than a loan, the Government, and

                                    (ii)    with respect to a loan, the Government or a bank, treasury branch, credit union, loan corporation or trust corporation;

                              (f)    “lender” means a financing institution referred to in clause (e)(ii) and includes any other person or entity that has acquired the rights of the creditor under a loan;

                             (g)    “loan” means financial assistance involving the lending and borrowing of money;

                             (h)    “member” means a member of the Board;

                              (i)    “Minister” means the Minister determined under section 16 of the Government Organization Act as the Minister responsible for this statute;

                              (j)    “non‑government financing institution” means a financing institution other than the Government;

                             (k)    “prescribed” means prescribed or otherwise provided for by the regulations;

                              (l)    “repealed legislation” means the Students Finance Act, the Student Loan Act and the regulations made under them, or any of those enactments, as the case may be;

                            (m)    “student” means an individual who is enrolled in a program of study at an educational institution, both the program and the institution having been approved by the Minister for the purposes of this clause;

                             (n)    “this Act” includes the regulations.

(2)  References in this statute to a federal Act include references to the regulations under that Act.

(3)  References in this statute to the issuing of a certificate refer to the issuing of a certificate of eligibility, or the authorization of a loan by any other means, under section 19(1), and “certificate” includes those means.

(4)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, for the purposes of this statute or specified provisions of this statute, by regulation define any expression used in this statute but not defined, and the expression has the meaning so defined.

Application

2(1)  This Act does not apply with respect to scholarships within the meaning of the Alberta Heritage Scholarship Act or scholarships and awards under the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Recognition Act.

(2)  This Act binds the Government.

Part 1
Administration

Minister’s general responsibilities

3   The Minister is responsible for

                             (a)    the operation and administration of financial assistance programs and of programs under the Canada Student Loans Act (Canada) and the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act (Canada) whose operation and administration have been assigned to the Minister or the Government, and

                             (b)    the apportionment and distribution of financial assistance and of monetary assistance under any such federal program.

Students Finance Board

4(1)  The Students Finance Board, established by the Students Finance Act, is continued.

(2)  The Board is to consist of not more than 11 individuals appointed as members of it by the Minister.

(3)  Unless or except to the extent that the Minister has otherwise previously notified the Board in writing, 2 (and only 2) of the members must be individuals who

                             (a)    are students, or

                             (b)    were students at any time within the previous 6 months,

and if circumstances change such that either individual meets neither clause (a) nor clause (b) while a member, that individual’s membership terminates, subject only to the right to continue membership under subsection (5).

(4)  Only individuals who

                             (a)    are Canadian citizens or have been lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence, and

                             (b)    are residents of Alberta,

are eligible to become and to remain members.

(5)  Members hold office for the term, which is not to exceed 3 years, that is set by the Minister, except that they may continue their membership after the expiry of their terms of office until they are reappointed or their successors are appointed as members, which continuing period is not to be taken into account for any of the purposes of subsection (6).

(6)  A member is eligible for only one reappointment as provided for by section 20(1)(c) of the Interpretation Act before vacating office, and is not eligible for a further term of office until 3 years after the end of the term under that reappointment.

(7)  Where the Minister fills a vacancy in membership by appointing an individual to fill the unexpired term of office of a vacating member, the appointment is not to be considered as a term of office for the purposes of subsection (6).

(8)  Where an individual resigns from membership, the appointment as member terminates on the effective date specified in the resignation or, if no such date is specified, on the date the Minister receives the resignation.

(9)  The Minister shall ensure that members who are neither officers or employees of the Government, nor members, officers or employees of any Provincial agency within the meaning of the Financial Administration Act, are paid

                             (a)    remuneration for their services as members, including any services performed as members of committees established by the Board, and

                             (b)    their reasonable travelling and living expenses while away from their ordinary places of residence in the course of those services,

at the rates set by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(10)  The Board may make rules governing its proceedings.

Chair and vice-chair

5   The Minister shall designate one of the members as the chair, and the members may elect from among the remaining members a vice‑chair, of the Board.

Board committees

6(1)  The Board may continue or establish committees, which may include individuals who are not members, to assist it with its functions.

(2)  The Minister shall ensure that members of the Board’s committees who are neither members, nor officers or employees of the Government, nor members, officers or employees of any Provincial agency within the meaning of the Financial Administration Act, are paid

                             (a)    remuneration for their services as committee members, and

                             (b)    their reasonable travelling and living expenses while away from their ordinary places of residence in the course of those services,

at the rates set by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Function and duties of the Board

7   The function of the Board is to advise the Minister on matters pertaining to financial assistance and the Board shall, on being requested to do so by the Minister, make inquiries or conduct research into, or collect information relating to, any matter specified by the Minister relating to financial assistance, and report the results to the Minister in the manner and at the time specified by the Minister.

Part 2
Provisions Applicable to Financial
Assistance Generally

Agreements with public or private entities

8   Subject to the Government Organization Act, the Minister may enter into agreements with any department, branch or agency of the Government or any other public or private organization or agency, including the  government of Canada or of a province or any non‑government financing institution, to establish, and to facilitate the administration, operation and enforcement of, financial assistance programs.

Agreements with other financing institutions

9   The Minister

                             (a)    may enter into an agreement with a non‑government financing institution respecting the provision of financial assistance to eligible students, and

                             (b)    shall pay to that institution, in accordance with that agreement, any amount that is payable by the Government to the institution under the agreement.

Direct  assistance from Government

10   The Minister may enter into agreements with eligible students under which the Government will provide financial assistance to them.

Agreements with service providers

11   The Minister may enter into an agreement with a corporation legally entitled to carry on business in Alberta  respecting the administration and enforcement of any financial assistance and financial assistance programs.

Eligibility and terms and conditions for financial assistance

12(1)  Financial assistance in any form may be provided only

                             (a)    to students who meet the eligibility criteria prescribed, and

                             (b)    on the terms and conditions prescribed,

for that form of financial assistance.

(2)  Any agreement entered into with a view to providing financial assistance

                             (a)    must comply with the applicable criteria and terms and conditions referred to in subsection (1),

                             (b)    must contain any terms and conditions whose inclusion is prescribed as required, and

                             (c)    may contain any other terms and conditions considered appropriate.

(3)  The Minister may in writing specify a maximum amount that any student may receive in any one academic year in the form of grants of the kind so specified.

Minority

13   Notwithstanding any other law, a minor is bound by the terms and conditions of financial assistance contracted by or on behalf of the minor, and this Act applies as if the minor were of full age at the time.

Limitation of actions

14   The Limitations Act applies to claims, within the meaning of that Act, arising under this Act except that, instead of the 2‑year period referred to in sections 2(2)(b) and 3(1)(a) of the Limitations Act, a 6‑year period applies for the purposes of this Act.

Fraud and failure to provide information

15(1)  A person who, intentionally and for the purpose of obtaining financial assistance or a certificate,

                             (a)    makes a false statement or a misrepresentation, orally or in writing,

                             (b)    gives false or misleading information, or

                             (c)    fails to provide any information that this Act or any agreement requires to be provided within the period or before the time limit imposed by this Act or the agreement,

is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding $5000.

(2)  A prosecution for an alleged offence against subsection (1) may not be instituted later than 3 years after the alleged commission of the offence.

Part 3
Provisions Applicable Only to Loans

Application of Part and form of loans

16(1)  This Part applies only where financial assistance is in the form of a loan.

(2)  A loan may be in the form of

                             (a)    a loan from the Government,

                             (b)    a loan made by a non‑government financing institution for which the Government pays a risk premium for making the loan,

                             (c)    a loan made by a non‑government financing institution all or part of which is guaranteed by the Government, or

                             (d)    a loan in any other form that is prescribed.

(3)  When a non‑government financing institution makes a loan referred to in subsection (2)(c), the Minister may give the guarantee referred to in that clause.

Loan limits

17   The Minister may, subject to the regulations, establish

                             (a)    the maximum amount that a student may receive in any one academic year in the form of loans, and

                             (b)    the maximum amount that a student may receive during the student’s lifetime in the form of loans.

2002 cS‑20.5 s17;2005 c33 s2

Agreements with students

18   A financing institution shall not make a loan except pursuant to an agreement entered into between it and the eligible student.

Certificates of eligibility

19(1)  Subject to this section, the Minister authorizes the making of a loan by issuing a certificate of eligibility or by any other prescribed means.

(2)  The Minister may issue a certificate only in accordance with any terms and conditions that are prescribed and only to an eligible student.

(3)  A certificate must meet the prescribed requirements as to form and substance.

(4)  The issuing of a certificate authorizes the financing institution lender to make the loan to the eligible student identified in the certificate in accordance with  the certificate, this Act and the applicable agreement referred to in section 18.

Payment, reduction and write‑off

20   The Minister may, on the basis and in the manner prescribed, pay, reduce or write off all or part of any outstanding loans made under this Act, the Canada Student Loans Act (Canada) or the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act (Canada).

Subrogation

21   Where a borrower fails to make a required payment on a loan and the Government makes the payment to the lender, the Government has the same rights to collect the amount paid from the borrower as the lender would have had if the Government had not made the payment.

Part 4
Miscellaneous Provisions

Regulations

22(1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

                             (a)    empowering the Minister to set up processes for the hearing of appeals against, or the review or reconsideration of, decisions under this Act;

                             (b)    notwithstanding anything in this statute, imposing duties or restrictions on the Minister with respect to financial assistance programs, including restrictions on the Minister’s authority to enter into agreements;

                             (c)    establishing different forms of financial assistance for some or all of the purposes of this Act;

                          (c.1)    respecting the maximum amounts of loans for the purposes of section 17;

                             (d)    respecting the form of any documents, records or other information provided for with respect to financial assistance programs, including matters relating to electronic signatures;

                             (e)    respecting the liability of the Government in the event of prescribed occurrences;

                              (f)    respecting guarantees on, and risk premiums to be paid for, loans by non‑government financing institutions;

                             (g)    respecting the consolidation of loans, including loans made under the repealed legislation, into new loans under new agreements and requiring applicants for new loans to enter into agreements to effect such consolidation;

                             (h)    respecting loan repayments by borrowers and interest on loans;

                              (i)    respecting the payment of legal and other fees, costs, expenses and disbursements incurred by financing institutions in endeavouring to recover loans;

                              (j)    respecting the acquisition by other persons and entities of loans previously made by financing institutions;

                             (k)    prescribing or otherwise respecting any matter or thing that by this statute may or is to be prescribed;

                              (l)    providing for any aspect relating to the transition from the repealed legislation to this Act.

(2)  Regulations under subsection (1) may vary according to the different matters established under subsection (1)(c).

2002 cS‑20.5 s22;2005 c33 s3

Transitional and savings provisions

23(1)  Notwithstanding section 25, the whole of the repealed legislation, as it existed immediately before the commencement of section 25 but as amended, if applicable, under subsection (2), continues to apply with respect to student financial assistance within the meaning of, and provided before that time under, the repealed legislation as if the repealed legislation had not been repealed.

(2)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations amending the repealed legislation to the extent that it is saved by, and continues to apply as a result of, subsection (1).

(3)  Notwithstanding section 1(1)(a), an agreement entered into under the repealed legislation continues to apply with respect to financial assistance under, and other monetary assistance referred to in, this Act until replaced by a corresponding agreement entered into under this Act.

 

 

24   (This section amends other Acts; the amendments have been incorporated into those Acts.)

 

Repeals

25   The Students Finance Act and the Student Loan Act are repealed.

 

Coming into force

26   This statute, except section 24(4) and (5), comes into force on Proclamation.

 

(NOTE:   Proclaimed in force September 1, 2003.)