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Harper government revokes international musician tax

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Stephen_Harper_by_Remy_Steinegger

Harper government revokes international musician tax

Ottawa has eliminated a fee charged to international musicians that was deterring abroad acts from performing in Canadian pubs, bars and restaurants.

“They corrected something incredibly dumb that they shouldn’t have implemented in the first place,” NDP MP and musician, Andrew Cash said. 

Last summer, in an attempt to limit temporary foreign workers, the Conservatives invoked a $275 processing fee on top of a $150 work permit for each member of a non-Canadian musical act hired to play small Canadian venues. Larger venues and concert halls were exempt from the new fee. The government justified the fee by stating it was aimed at helping to cover the costs of determining whether a Canadian should be hired instead of a temporary foreign worker in the music sector.

The government decided to eliminate this fee as a matter of fairness, according to Alexis Pavlich, spokesman for Citizen and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

“While the previous regulation was meant to protect opportunities for Canadian performers, it often had the opposite effect,” she told The Canadian Press. 

This elimination will ensure that Canadian artists may have the opportunity to expand their audience by performing with well-known international acts, Pavlich said.

Brianna Harris

THE SCENE