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Canada Reverses Course on Tax Rebate Decision


Ottawa, ON, Canada  – After extensive lobbying by Canada’s tourism industry, the Canadian government announced plans to reverse its decision to end the Visitor Rebate Program for goods and services taxes (GST). The program enabled trade shows, conventions and tourists to recoup the GST taxes levied on various programs.

In its place, the government has included a new Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive Program as part of the 2007 budget that will replace the rebate program. Though this proposal has some complex elements, the net effect on most trade show organizers, exhibitors and attendees is that they would be exempt from the goods and services tax in most instances.

Not included in the new program: rebates for individual business travelers or tourists. The president of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada said  the continuation of the rebate would cost Canada far less than the potential loss of convention and tour business.

Trade show organizers and/or sponsors would need to follow new procedures for rebate claims. Details are available at or from Canada’s Department of Finance at

Potential amendments to the 2007 budget were discussed the week of March 27, according to Chris Jones, vice president of public affairs for the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. The final vote is likely to come sometime in April, Jones said. It is expected to pass, as long as Bloc Quebecois votes with the Conservative government on key issues in the budget. The Bloc has indicated its intent to support the Conservatives.

It is uncertain at this time whether or not trade shows and conventions scheduled for the first part of April would be subject to the GST.

Reach Chris Jones at (613) 238-7557 or

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