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McGuinty: Work for free, we won’t charge interest

In Gen Y, In the News on August 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm

LooniesOntario Premier Dalton McGuinty is on the campaign trail ahead of the election October 6th and has proposed to help students in Ontario seeking to launch careers in non-profit, NGO or charity sectors by granting a one year grace period on provincial student loans. He stated:

 “Ontario students work hard to do well and in Ontario we also strive to do good. We believe it’s important for young people to have an opportunity to help our broader society. Extending the payback period for student loans makes it easier for graduates who take that first job in organizations where they can help.”

Does the Permier acknowledge that this is because many of these positions are unpaid? This sends the message that it is ok to have rolling unpaid internship schemes.

Extending the grace period is a band-aid solution to this problem. Those that cannot afford to live (you know, those apparent negotiables like food and shelter) and work for free still cannot access these positions. There are no grants for unpaid internships. Students must still pay the federal portion of their loan and must still afford the basic necessities.

Internsheep believes that the Ontario Premier can do much more to protect young interns and is failing Ontario youth by not acknowledging the root of the problem and by only paying lip-service to band-aid solutions.

Take action – Write to your MPP and the Minister of Labour and demand that interns be afforded the same protections as most Canadian workers.

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