The Liberal government clearly has some serious issues it needs to resolve.
When Trudeau’s so-called pro-worker party was running for elections in 2015, it made several repeated promises to protect young professionals from exploitation. Before they were elected in office, the Liberal Party officials were making bold statements promising to establish “clear standards around internships [that] will help safeguard legitimate opportunities for young workers while protecting them from exploitation.”
Here’s an excerpt from their statement on unpaid internships:
“We believe it is incumbent that the next federal government to finally address the issues associated with unpaid internships for young Canadians. Young Canadians have been left behind in the economic recovery, and the lack of job opportunities is taking a heavy toll on our youth and their parents who are supporting them. We need to take every action and ensure that young Canadians are set up for success and have the ability to get their careers off to a strong start.”
But what happened after they got elected? Short answer: nothing. No efforts were made to address the problems of young professionals. No statements were formulated. In fact, the problem of unpaid interns under the Liberal government is quite extensive. So extensive, in fact, that the President of the Treasury Board Scott Brison has ordered a review on why the federal government has consistently failed to pay interns.
On a yearly basis, the government accepts around 1,000. It is also required to pay the young workers unless the internship is part of an academic program. However, that hasn’t happened.
Many of the biggest federal government departments have interns working for free. The list includes major government departments like Environment Canada and the National Public Safety as well as smaller organizations like the Canadian Space Agency.