In Economic Action Plan 2011, the Harper Government announced that it would invest an estimated $9 million per year to forgive a portion of Canada Student Loans for family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners who work in under-served rural or remote communities. Economic Action Plan 2012 further clarified that the incentive also applies to residents in family medicine.
To apply for loan forgiveness, family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners must have been employed (whether full-time, part-time or casual) for 12 months in a designated rural or remote community and have provided in-person services for a minimum of 400 hours in that community. Residents in family medicine must have provided a minimum of 400 hours, or 50 days, of in-person service to be eligible.
The Harper Government's loan forgiveness program for family doctors and nurses only applies to the federal portion of outstanding Canada Student Loan debt. It does not apply to provincial or territorial student loans. Some provinces also have loan forgiveness programs.