Canada’s Screenwriters Agree To New Contract With Independent Producers

The Writers Guild of Canada and the Canadian Media Producers Association, representing local indie film and television producers, have agreed terms for a new labor contract.

Terms of the latest Independent Production Agreement, which awaits ratification, were not disclosed. But they will cover rates and workplace conditions for Canadian writers, story editors, and story consultants.

Key stumbling blocks in the Canadian labor talks included securing fair compensation for writers, protections against evolving artificial intelligence technologies on live-action and animation projects, and minimum writers’ room staffing on domestic TV series.

To secure leverage at the bargaining table, the WGC members voted 96.5 percent in favor of authorizing a strike if a new deal with the CMPA could not be reached. The Directors Guild of Canada gave its backing to the WGC as it unveiled the results of its strike vote.

Issues in the WGC crosshairs ahead of reaching the tentative deal with local producers like AI protections, compensation for writers, and minimum TV writing staff sizes also figured in negotiations last year involving the Writers Guild of America and the AMPTP, which led to a prolonged Hollywood writers strike before a new contract could be agreed on.

The tentative new IPA deal was unveiled by Victoria Shen, WGC executive director, and Sean Porter, the CMPA’s vp of national industrial relations and counsel. The new deal will be sent to the CMPA’s board of directors and to the WGC membership for ratification.

The current agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2023.

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