Students Support Proposed Legislation on the Issue of Unpaid Internships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OTTAWA, June 17, 2014 – The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) applauds the attention brought by NDP MP Laurin Liu, onto the issue of unpaid internships in Canada. 

“Interns deserve the same protections as regular employees,” said Travis Gordon, Board Chair for CASA. “We need to make sure these positions are used for education and training, not free labour. Students deserve a safe work environment and fair compensation”. 

While some schools and employers make productive use of on the job experience, there is little regulation to ensure that these experiences are productive and safe for students. Regulations vary from province to province – while some like Ontario have strict definitions about the conditions for internships, others have yet to formally regulate those positions, and there are no national standards. 

Currently, there is no official data on the number of unpaid internships that exist across the country. This lack of oversight makes it extremely difficult to determine how widespread the practice is, which employers are offering legitimate beneficial training and which are exploiting the system. 

“This bill represents an important first step in the process of ensuring these internship programs serve a beneficial purpose, and that any student doing jobs that qualify for compensation receive their fair pay”, added Gordon.  

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About CASA:

Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-‐partisan, not-for-profit, national student organization composed of 22 student associations representing 280,000 post­secondary students from coast to coast. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.

FOR INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Jonathan Champagne, Executive Director 

Email:  ed@casa.ca

Office: 613-236-3457 ext.222

Mobile: 613-266-2272