New fees deter international acts: bar owners
HALIFAX - Bar owners in Canada say a new federal government fee is deterring international musicians from playing at their venues.
The change, which came into effect July 31, adds a $275 processing fee on top of a $150 work permit for international musicians hired to play at bars, pubs or restaurants in Canada.
Mike Campbell of the Carleton Music Bar and Grill in Halifax says the $425 cost that is applied to each member of the musicians' crew will drive up ticket prices at his 100-seat venue.
Megan Leslie, the NDP MP for Halifax, says the processing fee is detrimental to local music scenes and needs to be eliminated.
Larger concert venues like the Air Canada Centre in Toronto are exempt from the fee.
The Employment and Social Development Canada website says the fee covers the cost of helping determine whether a Canadian should be hired instead of a temporary foreign worker.
But Campbell says his business needs international acts because there isn't enough Canadian talent to fill the bill.