Izabela Piekut v. His Majesty the King in Right of Canada as Represented by the Minister of National Revenue

(British Columbia) (Civil) (By Leave)


Bankruptcy and Insolvency — Procedure — Applicant seeking to have student loan debt released through the proposal process — Should this Court recognize that the correct approach to interpreting s. 178(1)(g)(i) and (ii) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. B-3 is that the seven year period runs from the date when the bankrupt ceased to be a full or part-time student when enrolled in an educational program eligible for federal or provincial student loans; or is the correct approach that the seven year period runs from the date in which the recipient ceases to be a student for the educational program for which they received an advancement of public funds under a government student loan program?


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Between September 1987 and October 1994, the applicant, Ms. Piekut, obtained a series of student loans through a federal government program. She graduated in 1994 and obtained her teaching diploma the following year. Ms. Piekut received two further student loans in 2002 and 2003, when she earned a master’s degree. In 2008, Ms. Piekut enrolled in part-time studies, earning her second master’s degree in 2009. That time, she funded her studies herself, with no student loan. In October 2013, Ms. Piekut made a consumer proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. B-3 (“BIA”). A certificate of full performance of that proposal was granted. In June 2019, Ms. Piekut applied to the court for a declaration that, by operation of law, she had been released from all debt and interest associated with her government student loans. Ms. Piekut’s application was dismissed. Her application for leave to appeal from that decision was granted but her appeal was subsequently dismissed.

Lower Court Rulings

September 7, 2021
Supreme Court of British Columbia

2021 BCSC 1883, B190403
Applicant’s application for release from her student loan debt dismissed
January 20, 2022
Court of Appeal for British Columbia (Vancouver)

2022 BCCA 50
Applicant’s application for leave to appeal granted
April 19, 2023
Court of Appeal for British Columbia (Vancouver)

2023 BCCA 181, CA47755
Applicant’s appeal dismissed