Wall of Shame: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Today we post the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada on our Wall of Shame for their advertised Marine Teens program. A Marine Teen is a person ages 15-18 who works for two weeks during the summer and additional days during March Break at the aquarium’s day camp for children. Marine Teens are not paid, and instead are labelled “volunteers” with time counting towards their 40 required Ontario Secondary School community service hours.


The Marine Teens program is legal. Under Ontario employment law, camp counsellors are not entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, public holidays, or public holiday pay. Although the program is legal, we have put it on our Wall of Shame because we believe Marine Teens should be paid wages for their work. Here are a few reasons:

1. Marine Teens perform real work. The website describes their tasks as follows:

Marine teens act as assistants to Day Camp staff and Aquarium Educators. This may involve: preparing materials for activities; facilitating children’s activities, helping to clean up after activities, assisting with escorting children through the Aquarium and to outdoor areas; providing supervision during breaks. Additionally, Marine Teens will attend approximately 4 meetings per year, and can assist with special events and community events as needed (e.g. Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup).

2. The program is an abuse of the high school community service hours requirement in Ontario as Marine Teens are not volunteering for a charitable cause and would be working well in excess of the 40 hour requirement.

3. By not paying Marine Teens, teenagers from lower socioeconomic backgrounds will be inhibited from gaining this work experience.


When the Marine Teens call for application was posted on the aquarium’s Facebook page, it did not take long for the public to respond condemning the practice of not paying Marine Teens. Here are a few of the public comments:

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We are calling on the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada to pay Marine Teens wages for their work! If you agree, let them know by emailing MarineTeens@ripleysaquariumofcanada.com.

Wall of Shame: The Hill Times

Today on our Wall of Shame is The Hill Times, an independent weekly newspaper on federal politics based out of Ottawa. The Hill Times has advertised editorial, design, photography and website internships that we strongly suspect do not comply with Ontario Employment Standards Act.

You can view the advertisements at www.hilltimes.com/internships and we have saved a PDF of the page here in case they take it down. Although the advertisement states “All internships are unpaid”, it makes no mention of an educational program or training of any kind.

Hill Times – PAY YOUR INTERNS!!!!

Love, the Canadian Intern Association



Wall of Shame: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been placed on our Wall of Shame following an advertisement for a “Fundraising Intern” in Toronto.

While the career level classification is “student”, the job description requires a “university or college diploma” suggesting that the intern could be a graduate. While unclear based on the advertisement, this position may be required to be a paid position under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act. Alternatively, even if this position falls within United Nations immunity for employees, our position is that all United Nations internships should be paid in order to create equal opportunities.

Click here to read the advertisement


We will also take this opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work being done by some of our partner organizations, the Geneva Interns Association and the Fair Internship Initiative. These groups advocate to end unpaid internships at the United Nations and other international organizations primarily on the grounds that only the world’s most advantaged people can access them. Every year, the United Nations alone employs more than 2,000 unpaid interns in the world’s most expensive cities. We strongly support their efforts and hope to see all United Nations interns receive wages for their work.

Wall of Shame: Canadian Football League

The Canadian Football League (“CFL”) has now removed advertisements for a series of internships for “highly qualified candidates”, offering only an unspecified “”monthly honorarium”. A spokesperson for the CFL has stated that the advertisements are under “review”.

Fortunately, we have saved a PDF of the advertisements, which can be viewed here. The internships were to be located in Toronto, and held the following titles:

  • Intern, Web Developer
  • Intern, Social Media & Content
  • Intern, Corporate Partnerships
  • Intern, Marketing
  • Intern, Football Operations
  • Intern, Digital Products
  • Intern, Graphic Design

The positions require candidates to have “recently completed” or be “in the process of completing” and relevant college diploma or university degree, and often require specific technical skills, such as experience with JavaScript, HTML, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Audio/Video equipment. For some positions, a time commitment “40 hours per week” is provided with an “occasional requirement to work overtime”.

The Toronto Star has exposed the CFL’s internship advertisements in this article.


Wall of Shame: Rogers TV Make Up Artist

One of Canada’s worst illegal internship offenders strikes again: Rogers TV. Someone from Rogers TV, a subsidiary of Rogers Communications (yes THAT Rogers), posted an advertisement on Kijiji looking for a Makeup Artist.

Rogers appears to be looking for a highly professional, reliable makeup artist who is willing to make a 4-6 month commitment and of course, work for free. The ad in it’s entirety can be found here.

Although we understand that Rogers TV, a CRTC mandated community access arm of Rogers Television, offers experience in broadcast and unique community programming, there is no reason why the operating costs of these programs should not include wages for workers.

This internship is illegal (unless part of a school program), exploitative and contributes to unemployment. If you want to get your foot in the door and Rogers isn’t paying, then who is?

Here is the text of the advertisement (Date Listed 17-Aug-15):

Address 3573 Wolfedale Road, Mississauga, ON L5C 1V8

Job Offered By Individual

Company: Rogers TV

Job Type: Part-Time

Volunteer: Makeup Artist Internship Opportunity

Looking For:

Looking for experienced makeup artists to volunteer at Rogers TV at our Mississauga Studio. Duties include applying makeup TV hosts as well as guests. 4-6 month commitment is required and Volunteers also must provide their own makeup kit.

Beginning Date: September 1st 2015

Hours: Tuesdays at 12 PM starting September 1st 2015

  • Highly Professional
  • Honest, reliable, and consistent
  • Exceptional interpersonal & communication skills
  • Must provide own makeup kit

Salary: Unpaid (this is a volunteer position), credit for school can be given if requested

Please e-mail a detailed resume and cover letter to the Coordinator of Volunteer Resources if interested.

Thanks to Reddit user /u/swinglinefan for bringing this to our attention.