As you have probably heard, earlier this month the Canadian government made some sweeping changes to the foreign workers program and more specifically added a $275 charge for every Labour Market Opinion application. This move came as an attempt to help protect the Canadian labour market and save taxpayers money on filled but unused applications.
You can read about it here:
However, the music industry works differently than most. Instead of saving Canadian jobs, it will really hurt Canadian artists, MANY small venues, music fans, small foreign bands that want to tour here and people like myself. Previously for an international band to come tour in Canada the cost was $150 per band member with a cap of $450, with the changes the costs go up to $425 per band member with no cap, so a 4 piece band would pay a minimum of $1700 just to enter our country. Making it cost prohibitive to tour Canada for most small to mid-size acts. These changes are NOT helpful for Canadians, they have been spoken out against by the provincial music associations, venues, Canadian bands, foreign bands, the Canadian Independent Music Association, booking agents, promoters, managers…etc.
You can read more about the potential impact on the music industry here:
An online petition has already gained over 100,000 signatures. However, to make a political change we also need to communicate directly to the government through official means. The Member of Parliament for my riding (Chris Warkentin) has agreed to table a petition on our behalf to reverse these changes or grant an exemption to the music industry.
We have prepared an official petition but we need as many people as possible to both sign and spread it.
Since it is an official government document the directions need to be followed properly. Please download a copy, sign and get others to sign.
1. Download and print the PDF
2. Collect signatures: Page 1 of the PDF must be in every bundle and then you can print as many of the second page as you can fill.
3. By September 23rd mail all pages to:
Checkered Owl Music
7533 115 st
Grande Prairie, Alberta
4. I will compile all the pages and take the petition to Mr. Warkentin who will present it to Parliament.