04/29/2014 04:49 EDT | Updated 06/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Students group calls on Manitoba to wipe out interest on loans

WINNIPEG - The Canadian Federation of Students wants Manitoba to eliminate interest on student loans, but the government says it's already providing a lot of help.

The federation has presented a petition that calls on the province to wipe out interest on all outstanding loans to help graduates deal with their debtloads.

Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum does not seem prepared to budget.

Allum says the government already reduced the interest rate to prime — currently one per cent.

Allum says the province offers other incentives such as one of the lowest tuition rates in the country and tax credits for graduates who stay and work in the province.

The federation says students in Manitoba graduate with an average of $19,000 in debt.