Conservatives fail to protect unpaid interns


April 22, 2015



NDP MP Laurin Liu (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles) made the following statement on the defeat of her motion:

“Four years ago, 22-year-old Andy Ferguson died in a head-on collision when he fell asleep at the wheel, after working excessive hours as an unpaid intern at an Alberta radio station.

“New Democrats introduced the Intern Protection Act and urged all MPs to support this measure which would include unpaid interns in workplace protection laws and set clear rules to prevent them from being exploited.

“It’s bad enough that under the Conservatives the youth jobs crisis has forced so many young people to work for free in the hope of obtaining future employment – they shouldn’t have to put their safety at risk too.

“We were optimistic when the Conservatives pledged greater protections for unpaid interns in yesterday’s budget as our bill would quickly fulfil this promise.

“Unfortunately for interns like Andy, the Conservatives put political games ahead of the opportunity to take real action protect unpaid interns and voted against this practical NDP proposal.

“Tom Mulcair’s NDP believes that unpaid interns deserve the same protections as any other workers in Canada. We will keep working to ensure that they are protected under the Canada Labour Code.”