Canadian government scraps "tour tax"

Last summer the Ministry of Employment etc. raised the cost of touring the country for small non-Canadian bands. If you were playing in places that weren't strictly for live music, a charge of $150 per musician/roadie for crossing the border was raised to $275 (or more) charged to each booking agent/promoter they're working with.

So spaces that weren't exclusively venues — like the bars that see newer, smaller bands pass through without the pressure of packing the place — were subject to potentially thousands of dollars in fees paid to the government.

Big festivals and large-scale tours were left untouched by this tax increase.

But the government has scrapped this costly bit of paperwork (full name Labour Market Impact Assessment), as reported by the Winnipeg Free Press. There's a petition demanding an end to the tour tax with over 140,000 signatures, which may have influenced the ministry to include it in the larger Temporary Foreign Worker reform happening now. With recent charges of abuse by companies including McDonalds and Tim Hortons, the government is dealing with much larger problems in this TFW reform.