threeamigos_thumb-1.png
threeamigos_thumb-1.png This article is more than 8 years old

VIDEO: Conservative candidate suggests working for free as solution to youth unemployment

A 27-year old Conservative candidate whose job since graduating university has been working as the assistant to jobs minister Pierre Poilievre said this about youth unemployment.

A 27-year old Conservative candidate whose job since graduating university has been working as employment minister Pierre Poilievre’s assistant says his solution to Canada’s youth unemployment problem is convincing more young people to take up volunteering to gain experience.

Andy Wang, the Conservative candidate for the Ottawa-area riding of Nepean was responding to a question about “student debt, high education prices and youth unemployment” at a local all candidates debate last week.

“I volunteered when no viable jobs were around,” Wang said. “As a future parliamentarian, my goal is to encourage youth to go out there and get some training, get the experience you need, that’s how you get a job.”


Wang’s response echoes Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz’s controversial advice that youth should “volunteer” to “get some real-life experience … even if it’s for free.” 

Wang said “there were no jobs around” when he graduated university in 2009 at “the height of the recession,” but after he “waited around for a bit” he realized “I can’t just sit here and do nothing. My hand’s not busy.”

Various media reports state Wang volunteered for Poilievre as a teenager. Wang began working in Poilievre’s Parliament Hill and constituency offices after graduating from McGill.

Wang says he was inspired to get involved in politics when Poilievre knocked on his door one day in 2004.

Canadians under the age of 25 lost over half of all jobs during the recession with low-skilled and precarious work replacing jobs lost in the wake of Canada’s declining manufacturing sector.

Rather than increase funding to youth employment programs to address the rise in youth unemployment, the Harper government has left existing programs smaller than they were a decade ago. Meanwhile, the minimum wage hasn’t grown since 1975, something that disproportionately impacts young workers.

Photo: andywang.ca

Our journalism is powered by readers like you.

We’re an award-winning non-profit news organization that covers topics like social and economic inequality, big business and labour, and right-wing extremism.

Help us build so we can bring to light stories that don’t get the attention they deserve from Canada’s big corporate media outlets.

 

Donate
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2024-05-07-rainbow-rally-vancouver News

Take Back Alberta Leaders are Training ‘Scrutineers’ to Infiltrate Campaigns and Act as ‘Security’ on Voting Day

Related Stories

News

Hundreds of People Rallied in Vancouver against Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate. Here’s What They Had to Say.

View the post
ANALYSIS

International Students are Coming to Canada Dreaming of a Better Life. Many Are Leaving Disillusioned and In Debt.

View the post
PODCAST

After the assassination of a Sikh on Canadian soil, what did (or didn’t) the foreign interference commission reveal about India?

View the post
Our free email newsletter delivers award-winning journalism directly to your inbox.
Get Canadian Investigative News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.
Our free email newsletter delivers award-winning journalism to your inbox.
Get Canadian Investigative News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.