threeamigos_thumb-1.png
threeamigos_thumb-1.png This article is more than 7 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

protest News

Doug Ford is Looking to Cut Costs in Healthcare Staffing, Documents Show

Related Stories

News

Far-Right Group Opposed to 2SLGBTQ+ Resources in Schools Protested BC Drag Queen Story Time Event

View the post
Analysis

Court Strikes Down Doug Ford’s Bill 124: Not ‘Justified’ In a ‘Free and Democratic Society’

View the post
News

Vancouver Police Tried to Gift Toy Guns to Elementary School Students, Teacher Alleges During Public Forum

View the post

Explainers

Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Here’s The Problem With Hoping Corporations Will Be Socially and Environmentally Responsible On Their Own

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

The battle of the PACs in Calgary’s municipal election

View the post
Politics & strategy

Jeremy Appel

27 Different Candidates are Vying to be Calgary’s Mayor. Here Are the Biggest Issues at Stake.

View the post
Newspapers always have a business section – why not a labour section? We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers.
We’ve launched a free newsletter covering labour issues in Canada.
Get Canadian Labour News You Won't Find in Corporate Newspapers