Canadian actors could strike next month if they can’t reach a deal with the country’s film and TV producers. According to the Montreal Gazette, if the actors do hit the picket lines, it could halt all Hollywood shooting in most of the country and also cripple local production. Some say the threat of a strike is already scaring away American film producers. Variety reported claims that two big-budget Hollywood films, The Pink Panther 2 and National Treasure II: The Book of Secrets, are skipping Toronto and Montreal because of the prospect of an actors’ strike. But the Montreal Gazette reports that Los Angeles studios will be rushing to make extra movies in Canada in the next six months in order to stockpile flicks before the possible major strikes stateside. Reps from ACTRA (the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), Canada’s main actors’ union, and the country’s two producers’ associations are meeting in Toronto to try to negotiate a new collective agreement. But the talks, which began in late October, have mostly consisted of name-calling so far, the newspaper says, and the two sides have yet to even formally discuss any of the major issues. ACTRA has sent its 11,000 voting members a strike ballot and the union will know by Friday whether or not it has a strike mandate. The current collective agreement between the actors and the producers expires on December 31st and ACTRA could strike after that if no deal is clinched. ACTRA has said that, if there is no deal signed with the producers’ associations, it will be open to making individual deals with Hollywood producers on a case-by-case basis to ensure the film-shoot biz doesn’t dry up.
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