The Ontario Ministry of Labour has begun a crack down on unpaid internships in magazines, beginning with two high-profile Canadian publications – the Walrus and Toronto Life. Following numerous complaints about unfair labour practices and resultantly a visit by a ministry inspector, the magazines have been told to immediately end their internship programs.
Effective Monday, Toronto Life will have to let go of (or pay) five interns, who are not in school and thus, do not meet Ontario’s employment standards for unpaid work. Going forward, both publications will be expected to pay interns who are not receiving school credit for their work, or not have them around at all.
It has been revealed that this crackdown is just the beginning of an anticipated blitz, which will have every ministry inspector targeting magazines in Ontario – one of many areas that has relied heavily on unpaid internship programs.
The Canadian Intern Association would like to applaud former Minister of Labour, the Honourable Yasir Naqvi, for spearheading this much needed enforcement in Ontario. We strongly encourage other provinces and territories to follow suit to stop the misclassification and exploitation of interns.