Nfld. & Labrador·Video

Author releases newest work for free to avoid N.L.'s new book tax

Newfoundland and Labrador rang in 2017 with a 10 per cent tax for all new books purchased in the province.

Joshua Goudie's The Lore Tax a call to action over controversial taxation

Joshua and Craig Goudie stand up to the 'Book Tax' and release newest work for free

6 years ago
Duration 2:16
'The Lore Tax' takes aim at the Liberal government in N.L.

Newfoundland and Labrador rang in 2017 with a new 10 per cent tax on all new books purchased in the province. 

The book tax hasn't won over residents, publishers or authors like Joshua Goudie. 

"I have never seen a policy be so misguided in all my life," he told CBC News Saturday. "I could cry."

"To tax your culture is unconscionable, but to tax books in a province with such a staggering rate of literacy I can't even wrap my head around it."

Hard up for cash, the province's Liberal party announced the new tax in its 2016 budget but it didn't come into effect until Jan. 1. 

Newfoundland and Labrador is now the lone province in Canada to have a tax on books. 

Upset with what he says is a tax on culture, Goudie, along with illustrator and father Craig Goudie, put together a new piece, the Dr. Seuss-inspired The Lore Tax.

Author Joshua Goudie is offering up a free book online to avoid Newfoundland and Labrador's book tax. (Joshua & Craig Goudie)

On Jan. 14 the pair published the book online, with the younger Goudie reading the book to the public. Tax-free, of course. 

"I know that culture is something that means a lot to Newfoundlanders and we have always been a people who rally around and support one another, especially in times like this," he said. 

In a Facebook post, the Goudies call on people to write their MHAs.

Joshua Goudie said it's encouraging to see a number of people are engaged in the issue, and he's hoping more people will speak out against the book tax. 

"This is something that we don't see as being an acceptable way to put a drop in the bucket of balancing this budget."

The government did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 


Jeremy Eaton is a reporter and videojournalist with CBC Newfoundland and Labrador.

With files from Meghan McCabe