The use of unpaid interns has come under increased media and political scrutiny. Fuelled by horror stories of young interns collapsing under extreme workplace pressures, the issue reached the political agenda. In the summer of 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour carried out a highly publicized workplace inspection blitz to determine if intern rights were being respected. Rules governing the appropriate use of interns in Ontario are not new. They had been in place long before the summer 2014 blitz. The rules are set out in section 1(2) of the Employment Standards Act.
I just read a case coming out of the Tax Court of Canada that confirmed an intern working for a charitable organization was not an “employee”; rather, she was a scholarship recipient. Therefore, the organization didn't have to make any source deductions such as CPP and EI on behalf of the intern.