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Canadian writers vote to extend pact

Org continues agreement for 12 months

Canuck screenwriters are extending their collective agreement with the Canadian Film & Television Producers Assn. and its Quebec equivalent for 12 months.

The Writers Guild of Canada’s independent production agreement expires Dec. 31.

Scribes voted overwhelmingly for the terms, which include a 3% hike in the minimum script fee paid to a writer upon delivery and to the minimum fee paid to a screenwriter after a script goes into production.

All parties breathed a sigh of relief at avoiding the full-on collective bargaining process, particularly in light of the recent WGA strife, and cited forthcoming government regulatory hearings on new-media broadcasting and terrestrial broadcaster license renewals as a major factor in sealing the deal.

“Overall, it’s a win/win agreement because it means there will be stability in the creative community at a time when it is under siege by the cable companies and broadcasters,” said WGC exec director Maureen Parker.

The ratification extends the agreement to Dec. 31, 2009, while the pay raise kicks in Jan. 1.

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