OTTAWA – Some high-profile cases involving unpaid internships in Canada over the last few years:
Andy Ferguson: The 22-year-old Alberta practicum student was killed in a head-on collision in 2011 while driving home after working long hours during an unpaid internship at a radio station. His family is pushing for laws to protect unpaid interns from exploitation.
Jainna Patel: In 2012, Patel filed a complaint seeking back wages from Bell Mobility, saying her unpaid internship had no educational value and that she was doing the same work as paid employees. It was rejected by a federal labour inspector. Patel has appealed.
Samantha Bokma: In August, Bokma was unexpectedly let go from her part-time job with Ontario Conservative MPP Rod Jackson. A week later, she saw an ad seeking an unpaid intern to replace her, though Jackson denied it was for the same job.
Fairmont Waterfront Hotel: Last fall, the posh Vancouver hotel posted an ad looking for an unpaid intern to bus tables. The ad was quickly taken down amid a social media uproar.