Our Response: Stephen Poloz’s Comments on Unpaid Internships

This week the Canadian Intern Association has garnered some serious media attention from across the nation.

The debate on unpaid internships has been most recently ignited by Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen S. Poloz. Mr. Poloz’s comments in a press conference on Monday and his House of Commons testimony on Tuesday highlight some of the dangerous thinking that surround internships in Canada.

In response, Association President Claire Seaborn has appeared on BNN, CBC, CTV, Global News and has been quoted in numerous papers speaking out against Poloz comments. Additionally, Andrew Langille, General Counsel to the Canadian Intern Association, appeared on Sun News to debate the topic. Association member Kyle Iannuzzi has also done over a dozen interviews on CBC radio across the country.

Click below to see Seaborn’s response.

Claire Seaborn on BNNClaire Seaborn on BNNCanadian Intern Association on CTV

Mr. Poloz’s comments are indicative of the ignorance and misrepresentation surrounding unpaid internships. Proposing that youth volunteer for free and work unpaid in order to bolster their CV is a dangerous message for the Bank of Canada Governor to promote. His comments encourage employers to advertise and deploy illegal internships and suggest that youth looking for entry level work are not entitled to the minimum wage. Furthermore his comments unfairly mischaracterizes interns across Canada and fails to take into account the role that income inequality plays. Not all interns are able to live in their parents basement and take unpaid work to simply make “business connections”.

The Canadian Intern Association is excited to see this topic enter its way into the national debate and gain some traction among youth and news media alike. Our hope is that this will continue to shed light some of the legal and economic concerns surrounding unpaid internships in Canada.

Stay in touch with the Canadian Intern Association.

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Below is a full list of the Canadian Intern Association’s reaction to Mr. Poloz’s comments.


CBC Metro Morning




Global News

Sun News


The Globe and Mail


Adam Seaborn is a Film & Media graduate from Queen’s University in Ontario and a member of the Canadian Intern Association executive. He is currently applying for law school and seeking employment in television and new media.

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