Good Riddance Charlie Angus

April 5, 2024
Charlie Angus holding paper

Charlie Angus, ever the blowhard, needed almost 700 words to tell us what we already know:– he’s done in federal politics.

Always eager to make the story about him, Angus’ long and rambling goodbye post was full of his usual wanking over for imaginary victories. His true legacy is his role in importing Trump-style politics into Canada, though from a leftist slant. A few weeks ago, I  wrote why  he should leave: he’s a self-important, self-serving political hack who’s primary accomplishment was  destroying a Canadian children’s charity.

While he claims he’s stepping down to spend more time with his family and his band (I feel bad for the rest of the members of “Grievous Angels”, his D-List punk band, who will now have to see much more of him), it’s all just a smokescreen.

As I wrote about months ago, the real reason he’s stepping down is that he was going his ass handed to him in the next election, and rather than take his medicine from the constituents he’s continually failed, he’s taking the easy way out and claiming to take the high road as part of a “renewal”.

Angus barely squeaked in last time, with 35% of the vote in a riding where, according to so many pundits, he’s loved. The People’s Party got 13%, a remarkable showing that likely cost the Tories the riding.

And that was after all the ink and air time Angus got from his run for the NDP leadership and his tag-team with Pierre Poilievre on WE in 2020. He actually dropped five per cent despite his dog-and-pony show on WE.

“I am no stranger to travelling hundreds of kilometres through snowstorms or to constituency meetings by helicopter, prop plane, bus, train, and freighter canoe. It has resulted in too many close calls on the white-knuckle highways of Northern Ontario,” he said.

That was the first time I heard him complain about transportation in Northern Ontario, something people in that region actually care about.

His windy farewell post has this nugget: “I will continue to find ways to advocate for Indigenous and Northern issues.”

I guess he forgot that Stephen Buffalo, a member of the Samson Cree Nation, and president and CEO of the Indian Resource Council, called him out in the National Post for being a false ally of Canada’s indigenous people, writing that a bill Angus was proposing was “a direct assault on Indigenous peoples.”


Buffalo further wrote “Angus has thrown his lot in with the wrong people. They are happy to tell us what to do on energy and environmental matters. But they are never around to fix our water issues, health-care problems, housing crises and rampant drug challenges.”

This is a part of the province that needs an Indigenous MP. The Cree and Anishinaabe of northern Ontario have a set of issues that need to be addressed: housing, health care, drugs, drinking water, transport, the development of the “ring of fire” mineral belt, the affect of climate change on the forests and waterways. I hope the NDP (and the other parties) find the best Indigenous candidates to bring these issues to the House of Commons.

For years, the trend for Angus has been bad: entering a leadership election with a decent war-chest and a decent campaign organization and coming out with just 19% of the final vote compared to Jagmeet Singh's 58%.

Following his defeat, Angus publicly criticized his fellow party members for choosing Singh, writing “when a party believes that better Instagram tricks or gala planning is the path to success we lose touch.” The man has such a touch…

For a while, we were lucky enough not to hear from him. Then, in the summer of 20202, when the government was doing a remarkable job of pivoting to work-from-home and rolling out innovative programs that saved many Canadian families from financial ruin, Angus teamed up with Parliamentary weasel Pierre Poilievre in attacking WE Charity and its founders (Craig and Marc Kielburger) during the Canada Student Service Grant saga.

This, according to my sources high in the public service, brought the entire Covid mitigation program to a halt. After the WE Charity takedown, public servants and politicians got the message: innovation leads to career destruction.

Ironically, Angus had once been a supporter of the charity and the Kielburgers. Angus’s daughter was in WE Charity programs and spoke speaking highly about her experiences. That didn’t matter. Angus had his own agenda.

And, with the help of a media pack that was looking for a quick and easy story, especially one that took down two tall poppies who had the respect and admiration of so many Canadians.

In the book I’m writing, I use this awful moment in modern Canadian history as a case study. I’m focussing on how Angus and his colleague Pierre Poilievre hid behind parliamentary privilege to say the most outrageous falsehoods, bully and badger witnesses and give credibility to some of the most notorious assholes in Canada.

The Friends of WE, a group of people with the courage to stand up to this media and political mob, compiled a list of his top 100 most repeated false claims. It’s worth a read.

Despite months of vicious attacks on the Kielburgers and others from the charity, the Ethics Committee’s final report was a giant nothingburger. No crimes, no conflicts of interest, no scandal involving the Kielbros. Yet the reporters did make a point to call out the attack dog tactics used by Angus and Poilievre in their months-long circus.

Liberal MP Brenda Shanahan accused the MPs of taking the committee on a fishing expedition that led to great personal harm for those implicated.

“Unfortunately, the numerous tactics used by the opposition members … both (inside) and outside of committee work… subjected individuals to personal and material damages and undermined the credibility and the role of our independent commissioners,” she said.

“Indeed, it was the public harassment and violent threats against witnesses called to testify for this study that were especially troubling.”

Later, despite being called out for his committee behaviour and being a foul mouthed bully on Twitter for years, Angus wrote an opinion piece lamenting the rise of hate directed at politicians, often fueled by conspiracy theories and false media reporting, stating:

“Parliament Hill security is advising elected officials to scope out public events before entering… (because)… the toxicity, rage and threats faced by elected officials have become so amped up it’s difficult to come up with workable solutions.”

Always the victim, Angus was never able to connect the dots between the decline in public discourse and his own toxic behaviour, which I wrote about in depth.

Angus routinely attacked people with profanity-laced tirades on Twitter and then threaten to leave the platform when people point out his hypocrisy. He was also quick to block anyone who challenged him or his tactics.

In October 2020, soon after the Ethics Committee circus, people criticized him for his over-the-top fictions about WE Charity. He answered by responded by announcing his retirement from Twitter:

“Shoulda done this ages ago. Saying goodbye to the toxic bots and hate cesspool called twitter. Bye bye…”

But, alas, it was not to be. Like a strange and scary sore, he came back.

The good news is, Angus can’t change his mind and unretire this time. Even if he tried, voters would quicky show him the door. His riding is being redistributed and he can read a poll: the People’s Party is unlikely to pull enough votes from the Liberals or Tories for any NDP candidate to win the riding that holds Timmins, Kirkland Lake and the Temagami region.

Our democracy will be better off once Angus is finally gone. Although, I suspect he will find a way to hog the spotlight. (It won’t be by playing “punk rock” or writing, but he’ll try.)

Goodbye Charlie, you won’t be missed. Or remembered.