Charlie Angus

Charlie Angus
Charles Joseph Angus
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Timmins—James Bay
Assumed office
Preceded by Réginald Bélair
Personal details
Born November 14, 1962 (1962-11-14) (age 49)
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 Angus MP (born November 14, 1962) 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]


Life and career

Angus was born in Timmins, Ontario.[2] He began his career as community activist in Toronto. He was also a musician in the punk rock band L'Étranger with Andrew Cash, and later in the more folk-oriented Grievous Angels.[3] He and his wife also ran a homeless shelter in the city.

In 1990, he moved to Cobalt with his 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.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

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.

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.[6] Although the registry is unpopular with many of his constituents, Angus voted against its abolition based on supporting evidence provided by police. He subsequently introduced a private member's bill to reform the registry.[7]


  • We Lived a Life and Then Some with Brit Griffin, Sally Lawrence, and Rob Moir. Between the Lines. 1996. ISBN 1896357067[8]
  • Industrial Cathedrals of the North, with Louie Palu and Marguerite Andersen. Between the Lines. 1999. ISBN 1896357180
  • Mirrors of Stone: Fragments from the Porcupine Frontier, with Louie Palu. Between the Lines. 2001 ISBN 1896357490
  • Les Costello: Canada's Flying Father. Novalis. 2005. ISBN 2895076316
  • Cage Call, with Louie Palu. Photolucida. 2007. ISBN 978-1-934334-02-7


  1. ^ "NDP calls for net neutrality"
  2. ^ Parliamentarian Information Page. August 22, 2007
  3. ^ a b About Charlie Angus Member for Timmins James Bay. Biography page from personal website. [1]
  4. ^ Charlie Angus. Les Costello: Canada's Flying Father. 2005. Novalis.
  5. ^ Francoli, Paco. "NDP MP Angus warned by priest he'll be refused holy communion". The Hill Times. March 7, 2005
  6. ^ DeSouza, Mike (2010-09-13). "NDP rejects responsibility for killing gun registry". National Post. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  7. ^ Janice Tibbetts, "NDP offers gun law compromise," Edmonton Journal, 8 October 2010, B12.
  8. ^ Search List from Amazon Books. 2007.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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