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
June 28, 2004
Preceded by Réginald Bélair
Personal details
Born Charles Joseph Angus
(1962-11-14) November 14, 1962 (age 53)
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. A member of the New Democratic Party, Angus has been the Member of Parliament for the riding of Timmins—James Bay since being elected in the 2004 federal election. He is currently the NDP's critic for Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

Early life, music, writing, and activism[edit]

Charlie Angus was born in Timmins, Ontario.[1] He began his career as community activist in Toronto. He was also a musician in the punk rock band L'Étranger with Andrew Cash (former Member of Parliament for Davenport), and later in the more folk-oriented Grievous Angels. The Grievous Angels were nominated for two Juno Awards.[2] 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 became established 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, mainly on regional history, and became 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.[2]

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.[3]

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.

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.

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.

Federal politics[edit]

Angus in 2011.

Angus entered federal politics in the 2004 election as the successful New Democratic Party candidate in the Ontario riding of Timmins—James Bay, winning election to the Canadian House of Commons 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 was the NDP parliamentary critic for Canadian Heritage from 2004 to 2007, and was additionally critic for agriculture from 2004 to 2006.

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.[4]

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.[5]

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 was re-elected in both the 2008 federal election and the 2011 federal election. Angus also served as the party’s spokesman on privacy, ethics and government accountability. Angus voted against a bill to abolish the Canadian Firearms Registry in September 2010.[6] 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.[7]

He was named to Maclean's magazine's Power List in 2012 as one of the 25 most influential Canadians.[8] Zoomer Magazine has chosen him the third most influential Canadian over the age of 45.[9] 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.

Angus has been an 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.

After the 2015 federal election, Angus was appointed as the NDP's critic for Indigenous and Northern Affairs in the 42nd Canadian Parliament.[10] As a part of this role, he sat as a member of the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development committee.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Angus lives in Cobalt, Ontario with his wife of 30 years. They have three children.


  • We Lived a Life and Then Some with Brit Griffin, Sally Lawrence, and Rob Moir. Between the Lines. 1996. ISBN 1-896357-06-7[12]
  • Industrial Cathedrals of the North, with Louie Palu and Marguerite Andersen. Between the Lines. 1999. ISBN 1-896357-18-0
  • Mirrors of Stone: Fragments from the Porcupine Frontier, with Louie Palu. Between the Lines. 2001. ISBN 1-896357-49-0
  • Les Costello: Canada's Flying Father. Novalis. 2005. ISBN 2-89507-631-6
  • Cage Call, with Louie Palu. Photolucida. 2007. ISBN 978-1-934334-02-7
  • Unlikely Radicals. Between the Lines. 2013. ISBN 9781771130400
  • Children of the Broken Treaty: Canada's Lost Promise and One Girl's Dream. University of Regina Press. 2015. ISBN 978-0889774018

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2015
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Charlie Angus 15,974 42.9 -7.05
Liberal Todd Lever 12,940 34.7 +18.72
Conservative John P. Curley 7,605 20.4 -11.48
Green Max Kennedy 752 2.0 -0.2
Total valid votes/Expense limit 37,271 100.0     $244,399.85
Total rejected ballots 266
Turnout 37,537 61.84 +10.84
Eligible voters 60,692
New Democratic hold Swing -12.89
Source: Elections Canada[13][14]
Canadian federal election, 2011
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Charlie Angus 16,738 50.4 -6.1
Conservative Bill Greenberg 10,526 31.7 +13.5
Liberal Marilyn Wood 5,230 15.7 -6.5
Green Lisa Bennett 724 2.2 -0.9
Total valid votes/Expense limit 33,218 100.0
Total rejected ballots 184 0.6 +0.1
Turnout 33,402 56.5 +5.5
Eligible voters 59,136
Canadian federal election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
New Democratic Charlie Angus 17,188 56.5 +6.0 $63,948
Liberal Paul Taillefer 6,740 22.2 -12.1 $ 31,909
Conservative Bill Greenberg 5,536 18.2 +4.6 $29,651
Green Larry Verner 938 3.1 +1.5 $133
Total valid votes/Expense limit 30,402 100.0 $97,746
Total rejected ballots 133 0.4
Turnout 30,535 51.0
Canadian federal election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
New Democratic Charlie Angus 19,150 50.5 +9.1
Liberal Robert Riopelle 13,028 34.3 -5.3
Conservative Ken Graham 5,164 13.6 -3.1
Green Sahaja Freed 610 1.6 -0.7
valid votes 37,952 100.0
New Democratic hold Swing +7.2
Canadian federal election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ∆%
New Democratic Charlie Angus 14,138 41.4 +19.7
Liberal Ray Chénier 13,525 39.6 -14.9
Conservative Andrew Van Oosten 5,682 16.7 -6.2
Green Marsha Gail Kriss 767 2.3
Total valid votes 34,112 100.0


  1. ^ Parliamentarian Information Page. August 22, 2007
  2. ^ a b About Charlie Angus Member for Timmins James Bay. Biography page from personal website. [1]
  3. ^ Charlie Angus. Les Costello: Canada's Flying Father. 2005. Novalis.
  4. ^ Francoli, Paco. "NDP MP Angus warned by priest he'll be refused holy communion". The Hill Times. March 7, 2005
  5. ^ "NDP calls for net neutrality". CBC News. April 21, 2008. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  6. ^ DeSouza, Mike (2010-09-13). "NDP rejects responsibility for killing gun registry". National Post. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  7. ^ Tibbetts, Janice (October 8, 2010). "NDP offers gun law compromise". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  8. ^ "The 25 most important people in Ottawa: Charlie Angus". Maclean's. November 27, 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  9. ^ "Zoomer Magazine has kudos for Charlie Angus". Timmins Times. September 20, 2012. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  10. ^ Kirkup, Kristy (12 November 2015). "Tom Mulcair taps Nathan Cullen, Charlie Angus, Guy Caron for top critic roles". CBC News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  11. ^ McGregor, Janyce. "Meet the Commons committees of the 42nd Parliament". CBC News. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  12. ^ Search List from Amazon Books. 2007.
  13. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Timmins—James Bay, 30 September 2015
  14. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates

External links[edit]