Charlie Angus

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Charlie Angus
Charlie Angus in 2014.jpg
Charlie Angus
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Timmins—James Bay
Assumed office
Preceded by Réginald Bélair
Personal details
Born Charles Joseph Angus
(1962-11-14) November 14, 1962 (age 52)
Timmins, Ontario
Political party New Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Brit Griffin
Residence Cobalt, Ontario
Profession Historian, writer, editor, broadcaster, politician & musician
Religion Roman Catholic

Charles Joseph "Charlie" Angus, MP (born November 14, 1962 in Timmins, Ontario) is a Canadian writer, broadcaster, musician, and politician. Angus entered electoral politics in 2004 as the successful New Democratic Party candidate in the Ontario riding of Timmins—James Bay. He was the NDP parliamentary critic for Canadian Heritage from 2004 to 2007, and was additionally critic for agriculture from 2004 to 2006. In 2007 he became the critic for Public Works and Treasury Board, as well as the NDP spokesman for digital issues such as copyright and internet neutrality.[1] He is acting as the party’s spokesman on privacy, ethics and government accountability.

He was named to Maclean's magazine's Power List in 2012 as one of the 25 most influential Canadians.[2] Zoomer Magazine has chosen him the third most influential Canadian over the age of 45.[3] In 2011, CTV News Channel's Power Play chose him in the top three MPs of the year, along with Stephen Harper and Jack Layton.

Life and career[edit]

Charlie Angus was born in Timmins, Ontario.[4] He began his career as community activist in Toronto. He was also a musician in the punk rock band L'Étranger with Andrew Cash (now the Member of Parliament for Davenport), and later in the more folk-oriented Grievous Angels. The Grievous Angels were nominated for two Juno Awards.[5] He and his wife also ran a homeless shelter in the city.

In 1990, he moved to Cobalt with his young family. Grievous Angels continued as a band, and quickly became a cultural institution in Northern Ontario. In 1995, Angus and his wife Brit Griffin also launched HighGrader, a magazine devoted to Northern Ontario life and culture. He has also authored a number of books, notably on regional history, and made a name for himself as an activist in the controversy around shipping Toronto's garbage to Adams Mine, a plan to which Angus and many residents of the area were opposed.

In 1999, he was awarded the Jackie Washington Award by the Northern Lights Festival Boréal in Sudbury for his outstanding contributions to Northern Ontario culture.[5]

In 2004, Angus sought and won the NDP nomination in Timmins—James Bay, and won election to the Canadian House of Commons in the 2004 federal election by less than 600 votes. He was re-elected in the 2006 federal election with a majority, over six thousand votes ahead of Liberal challenger Robert Riopelle.

Angus is a progressive, social justice-oriented member of the Roman Catholic Church and supporter of the Catholic Worker Movement. Until his federal election, he was a separate school board trustee. He was also a longtime columnist for the Catholic New Times, and wrote an admiring biography of Father Les Costello, the celebrated Toronto Maple Leafs player who left professional hockey to become a Catholic priest in Timmins.[6]

He has worked extensively on community development projects with Canadian First Nations, working as a negotiator and consultant for the Algonquin Nation of Quebec. He also played a prominent role in calling national attention to the Kashechewan crisis of 2005.

In 2005, Angus' own priest confronted him, and threatened to deny him Holy Communion if he voted with the government and his party to legalize same-sex marriage by Act of Parliament. Angus stood his ground and was denied communion. Angus' treatment provoked widespread public reaction both from those who supported the church's stance, and those who supported Angus.[7]

Angus's fifth book, Cage Call, a photo documentary with photographer Louie Palu, was released in 2007 as part of an award from Portland-based PhotoLucida.

Angus in 2011.

In 2006, after just two years as a Member of Parliament, the Toronto Star selected Angus as one of the ten most effective opposition MPs. He also won "Best Constituent Representative" at the 2007 Maclean's Parliamentarian of the Year Awards.

Angus voted against a bill to abolish the Canadian Firearms Registry in September 2010.[8] Although the registry is unpopular with many of his constituents, Angus voted against its abolition based on supportive studies provided by police. He subsequently introduced a private member's bill to reform the registry.[9]

He became involved in politics through his organizing efforts to stop the Adams Mine garbage proposal and numerous PCB import plans to Northern Ontario. Angus is the author of five published books. His sixth book Unlikely Radicals: The Story of the Adams Mine Dump War was published by Between the Lines Press in Spring 2013. The book was short-listed for the Speakers Book Award, Legislative Assembly of Ontario, 2013, and was the runner-up for the Best Regional Non-Fiction (Canada-East), Independent Publisher Book Awards, 2013.

Angus has been a passionate advocate for the rights of First Nation children and was the co-founder of the “Shannen’s Dream” campaign – named in honour of the late Cree youth leader Shannen Koostachin. In early 2012, Angus’ Parliamentary Motion “Shannens Dream” calling for an end to the systemic under-funding of First Nation education passed unanimously through the House of Commons. Angus lives in Cobalt, Ontario with his wife of 30 years. They have three children.



  1. ^ "NDP calls for net neutrality". CBC News. April 21, 2008. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  2. ^ "The 25 most important people in Ottawa: Charlie Angus". Maclean's. November 27, 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  3. ^ "Zoomer Magazine has kudos for Charlie Angus". Timmins Times. September 20, 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  4. ^ Parliamentarian Information Page. August 22, 2007
  5. ^ a b About Charlie Angus Member for Timmins James Bay. Biography page from personal website. [1]
  6. ^ Charlie Angus. Les Costello: Canada's Flying Father. 2005. Novalis.
  7. ^ Francoli, Paco. "NDP MP Angus warned by priest he'll be refused holy communion". The Hill Times. March 7, 2005
  8. ^ DeSouza, Mike (2010-09-13). "NDP rejects responsibility for killing gun registry". National Post. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  9. ^ Tibbetts, Janice (October 8, 2010). "NDP offers gun law compromise". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  10. ^ Search List from Amazon Books. 2007.

External links[edit]