Today the CBC broke a huge story exposing unpaid internships at Bell Media. The featured intern Jainna Patel was instrumental for the development of this story and she happens to be involved in the Canadian Intern Association. The CBC has also featured Kyle Iannuzzi, the Canadian Intern Association’s VP Operations, who filed an employment standards claim against his employer and won back pay. Tonight unpaid internships will be getting some attention on CBC’s The National as part of their “Go Public stories.”
Get the details on CBC News online – “Bell accused of breaking labour law with unpaid interns”
This morning Canadian Intern Association President Claire Seaborn went into the CBC studio in Toronto to record interviews with CBC’s local radio stations in Kitchener-Waterloo, Winnipeg, Regina, Yellowknife, Edmonton, Victoria, Kelowna, and Kamloops. Other leaders on this issue, such as employment lawyer Andrew Langille (www.youthandwork.com) covered several other cities.
- The Huffington Post – “Bell accused of breaking labour law with unpaid interns”
- CTV News – “Unpaid internships exploit young works: lawyer”
- Youth and Work – “Why can’t Bell Canada pay its interns?”
- Reddit – “Bell accused of breaking labour law with unpaid interns”
Law & Policy
The law surrounding unpaid internships varies from province to province and for federally regulated companies. Generally, unpaid internships are illegal in Canada unless they are part of a formal education program administered by a college or university.
Governments in Canada are not doing enough to enforce existing laws and to adopt stricter regulations. However, politicians from some opposition parties are showing interest – Member of Parliament Scott Brison is pushing for Statistics Canada to begin tracking the number of unpaid internships across the country, and Member of Parliament Andrew Cash is advocating for more regulation of unpaid internships as part of his Urban Worker Campaign.
What you can do
- E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with internships advertisements. If the internship is illegal or especially problematic, you may find it on our Wall of Shame. If the internship is paid and generally well-run, you may find it on our Wall of Fame.
- If you are an intern in Ontario or British Columbia, you may be able to claim minimum wage for the hours you worked during your internship. Check out our Claim Back Your Pay Campaign.
- Check out our What’s the Law? page if you are an employer that wants to meet employment standards or an intern that want to know their rights.