TORONTO, Sept. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - This morning, a student at Laurentian
University - Barrie Campus submitted a complaint to the Ministry of
Labour about an unpaid internship being offered in the office of Barrie
Member of Provincial Parliament Rod Jackson.
Samantha Bokma was employed in the constituency office of MPP Jackson
until August, when her supervisor verbally informed her that her
contract would not be renewed past its August 30, 2013 end date. On
August 29, MPP Jackson's office released a posting for an unpaid
internship fulfilling the duties Bokma had previously performed.
"Students and other young people should have the right to be paid fairly
for their work. Instead, young people are faced with few job prospects
and an abundance of unpaid internships," said Bokma. "Personally, I had
to forgo signing a lease on an apartment because I simply can't pay for
tuition fees, rent and groceries with a single part-time job."
Certain provisions permit employers to have unpaid interns in their
workplace for training purposes or as part of an approved program in a
college or university. Unpaid internships are not, however, intended to
replace paid employment in a workplace.
"High youth employment this summer, coupled with Ontario's high tuition
fees, has put many students in a difficult financial position this
September. Shifting paid, part-time and entry level employment to
unpaid internships deprives young workers of wages they deserve," said
Alastair Woods, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of
Students-Ontario. "We hope the Ministry of Labour will take this
information seriously and ensure this situation is thoroughly
In August, the unemployment rate for returning students in Ontario was
19 per cent, compared to the general unemployment rate of 7 per cent.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents more than 300,000
college, undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of the
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario
For further information:
Kaley Kennedy, Communications and Government Relations Coordinator: 647-302-3891 (cell)