Charlie Angus

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Charlie Angus
Member of Parliament
for Timmins—James Bay
Assumed office
June 28, 2004
Preceded byRéginald Bélair
Personal details
Charles Joseph Angus

(1962-11-14) November 14, 1962 (age 61)
Timmins, Ontario, Canada
Political partyNew Democratic Party
(m. 1986)
Residence(s)Cobalt, Ontario, Canada
  • Writer
  • editor
  • broadcaster
  • musician Edit this at Wikidata

Charles Joseph Angus MP (born November 14, 1962) is a Canadian author, journalist, broadcaster, musician and politician. A member of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Angus has been the federal Member of Parliament for the riding of Timmins—James Bay since winning the 2004 election. He is the NDP critic for Ethics, Federal Economic Development, Initiative for Northern Ontario, Indigenous Youth, Income Inequality and Affordability, and Deputy Critic for Labour.[2]

Angus was a candidate for leadership of the federal NDP in the 2017 election, where he received 19.4% of the vote.

He is the author of Cobalt: Cradle of the Demon Metals, Birth of a Mining Superpower.

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

Angus was born in Timmins, Ontario,[3] and moved to Toronto in 1973, where in 1980 he co-founded the punk rock band L'Étranger with childhood friend Andrew Cash. Angus performed bass and co-wrote many of the group's songs, which were influenced by the Clash and the group's Catholic social justice roots.[4][5] L'Étranger is best known for their anti-apartheid single "One People", one of the first independent videos to play on the then-new MuchMusic.[6] Angus later co-founded the alternative folk group Grievous Angels.[7] He continues to perform with the group on occasion, and released a new album in 2021.[8]

Angus was a community activist in Toronto in the 1980s where, along with his wife Brit Griffin, he established a Catholic Worker house and a homeless shelter for men, especially those who were minority refugees and former prisoners. He moved to Cobalt, Ontario, with his young family in 1990, and in 1995 Brit and Charlie launched HighGrader, a magazine devoted to Northern Ontario life and culture. In 1999, he received an award from the Northern Lights Festival Boréal in Sudbury for his outstanding contributions to Northern Ontario culture.[7]

He is the author of eight published books, including an admiring biography of Les Costello, the celebrated Toronto Maple Leafs player who left professional hockey to become a Catholic priest in Timmins.[9] Angus's fifth book, Cage Call, a photo documentary with photographer Louie Palu, was released in 2007.

Angus is a progressive, social justice–oriented member of the Roman Catholic Church, a supporter of the Catholic Worker Movement, and was a longtime columnist for the progressive Catholic New Times. He became increasingly involved in regional and then federal politics through his organizing efforts in opposition to the Adams Mine garbage proposal and the disposal of PCBs in Northern Ontario.

From 2000 to 2004, Angus served as a trustee on the Northeastern Catholic District School Board.[3]

Federal politics[edit]

Angus in 2012

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 House of Commons of Canada by fewer than 600 votes. He was re-elected in the 2006 federal election with an outright 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, his parish priest, Father John Lemire, 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.[10]

He has worked extensively on community development projects with Canada's 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 2007 he became the NDP critic for Public Works and Treasury Board, as well as the NDP spokesman for digital issues such as copyright and internet neutrality.[11]

In 2006, after he had served 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 the federal elections of both 2008 and 2011. Angus also served as the party's spokesperson on privacy, ethics, and government accountability. Angus voted against a bill to abolish the Canadian Firearms Registry in September 2010.[12] 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.[13]

He was named to Maclean's magazine's Power List in 2012 as one of the 25 most influential Canadians.[14] The same year, Zoomer Magazine chose him as the third most influential Canadian over the age of 45.[15] In 2011, CTV News Channel's Power Play placed him among the top three MPs of the year, along with the then Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, and NDP leader Jack Layton.

Angus has been an advocate for the rights of First Nations children and was the co-founder of the Shannen's Dream campaign, named in honour of the late Cree youth leader Shannen Koostachin, whom Angus fought with to build a new elementary school for her community. In early 2012, Angus' parliamentary motion "Shannen's 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, he was appointed NDP critic for Indigenous and Northern Affairs in the 42nd Canadian Parliament and elected Caucus Chair in January 2016.[16] He was also a member of the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development committee.[17] He resigned from both roles on November 23, 2016, in to prepare for the 2017 New Democratic Party leadership race.[18] On February 20, 2017, Angus officially registered to run in the NDP leadership race to replace Tom Mulcair.[19] He placed second with 19.4% of the vote, losing to then Ontario provincial politician Jagmeet Singh.[20] MPs Niki Ashton and Guy Caron respectively came in third and fourth.

Angus was re-elected in the 2019 and 2021 federal elections.


  • We Lived a Life and Then Some with Brit Griffin, Sally Lawrence, and Rob Moir. Between the Lines Books, 1996. ISBN 1-896357-06-7.[21]
  • 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.
  • Cobalt: Cradle of the Demon Metals, Birth of a Mining Superpower, House of Anansi Press, 2022, ISBN 978-1487009496

Honours and awards[edit]

Angus was selected as "Best Mentor" during Macleans 12th annual Parliamentarians of the Year award and was also the 2007 winner for "Best represents constituents".[22] He was also a finalist for "Most knowledgeable".[23]

Electoral record[edit]

2021 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
New Democratic Charlie Angus 12,132 35.1 -5.4
Conservative Morgan Ellerton 9,393 27.2 +0.2
Liberal Steve Black 8,508 24.6 -1.1
People's Stephen MacLeod 4,537 13.1 +9.7
Total valid votes 34,570
Total rejected ballots 355
Turnout 34,925 55.40
Eligible voters 63,041
Source: Elections Canada[24]

2019 Canadian federal election: Timmins—James Bay
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
New Democratic Charlie Angus 14,885 40.5 -2.35 $85,828.95
Conservative Kraymr Grenke 9,907 27.0 +6.60 $38,287.03
Liberal Michelle Boileau 9,443 25.7 -9.02 $46,774.56
Green Max Kennedy 1,257 3.4 +1.38 $1,722.98
People's Renaud Roy 1,248 3.4 $9,105.18
Total valid votes/expense limit 36,740 100.0
Total rejected ballots 369
Turnout 37,109 58.6
Eligible voters 63,282
New Democratic hold Swing -4.47
Source: Elections Canada[25][26]
2015 Canadian federal election
Party Candidate Votes % ±% Expenditures
New Democratic Charlie Angus 15,974 42.85 -7.1 $73,519.39
Liberal Todd Lever 12,940 34.72 +18.74 $35,151.97
Conservative John P. Curley 7,605 20.40 -11.48 $37,300.73
Green Max Kennedy 752 2.02 -0.18 $520.54
Total valid votes/Expense limit 37,271 100.0     $245,251.56
Total rejected ballots 266
Turnout 37,537 61.84 +10.84
Eligible voters 60,692
New Democratic hold Swing -12.89
Source: Elections Canada[27][28]
2011 Canadian federal election
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
2008 Canadian federal election
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
2006 Canadian federal election
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
2004 Canadian federal election
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. ^ "Angus, Charlie". The Globe and Mail. 28 June 2004. Archived from the original on 15 December 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Your Elected New Democrats". Canada's NDP. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b Parliamentarian Information Page. August 22, 2007
  4. ^ "Andrew Cash: From punk to politics". Toronto Star, May 7, 2011.
  5. ^ ‘The only punk band ever reunited in the House of Commons’. Maclean's, Philippe Gohier, May 9, 2011
  6. ^ L'Étranger at's Canadian Pop Encyclopedia.
  7. ^ a b About Charlie Angus Member for Timmins James Bay. Biography page from personal website. "About Charlie Angus - MP for Timmins James Bay". Archived from the original on 9 October 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
  8. ^ Kerry Doole, "NDP MP Charlie Angus' Songwriting Remains Potent on Grievous Angels' 'Summer Before the Storm'". Exclaim!, January 13, 2021.
  9. ^ Charlie Angus. Les Costello: Canada's Flying Father. 2005. Novalis.
  10. ^ Francoli, Paco. "NDP MP Angus warned by priest he'll be refused holy communion". The Hill Times. March 7, 2005 Archived October 4, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "NDP calls for net neutrality". CBC News. 21 April 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  12. ^ DeSouza, Mike (13 September 2010). "NDP rejects responsibility for killing gun registry". National Post. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  13. ^ Tibbetts, Janice (8 October 2010). "NDP offers gun law compromise". Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  14. ^ "The 25 most important people in Ottawa: Charlie Angus". Maclean's. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Zoomer Magazine has kudos for Charlie Angus". Timmins Times. 20 September 2012. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ McGregor, Janyce (30 January 2016). "Meet the Commons committees of the 42nd Parliament". CBC News. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  18. ^ Kirkup, Kristy (23 November 2016). "Angus steps down as NDP caucus chair, considers leadership run". CBC News. The Canadian Press. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  19. ^ "Information on Leadership Contests". Elections Canada. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  20. ^ Ballingball, Alex (1 October 2017). "Jagmeet Singh wins the NDP leadership race". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  21. ^ Search List from Amazon Books. 2007.
  22. ^ "The winners of the Maclean's Parliamentarians of the Year Awards -". Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  23. ^ "The finalists for the Maclean's Parliamentarians of the Year Awards -". Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  24. ^ "Official Voting Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  25. ^ "List of confirmed candidates". Elections Canada. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  26. ^ "Election Night Results". Elections Canada. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  27. ^ Elections Canada – Confirmed candidates for Timmins—James Bay, 30 September 2015
  28. ^ Elections Canada – Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived 2015-08-15 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]