Ont. cracks down on unpaid internships

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:42 PM ET

Ontario's Ministry of Labour began cracking down this week on unpaid internships at magazines, forcing publications to either pay their interns or let them go.

Toronto Life and the Walrus were the first targets of ministry inspectors, who told the magazines their internships do not comply with the provisions of the Employment Standards Act (ESA).

The ministry website outlines the "very limited" exceptions under which an intern would not be paid, and said being labelled an intern does not mean giving up rights: "Generally, if you perform work for another person or a company or other organization and you are not in business for yourself, you would be considered to be an employee, and therefore entitled to ESA rights such as the minimum wage."

The ministry released a statement Thursday saying it was launching an "enforcement blitz" on internships across "a variety of sectors."