I have this picture in my head... it's Charlie in a small northern community in the bitter cold. He's listening carefully to the people gathered who are describing what it feels like to have no clean running water in housing that lets too much water in. He's nodding his head, listening. He goes back to Ottawa and does some more research on the issue and goes to Question Period, his arm raised in the air, pointing towards the Prime Minister, a grim look on his face, demanding to know why, still, they have failed people.
I have another picture in my head; he's back in the same community but this time he's wanting to know if the water supply is working well, the housing warm and safe, and the school operating. The elders shake his hand and say - it's better Prime Minister, but we've got more to do - and he nods in agreement.
Do you believe Charlie Angus can become Prime Minister? Has he got the skills and qualities we need? Has he got the care and compassion that drives him forward every day? I believe he has all of those things.
I believe Charlie can lead our party and this country so that the abundant wealth we have is used to good purpose and human need.
I'm impressed with and respect all our leadership candidates; each has brought incredible dedication and strength. Niki, your policies, and passion inspire me, Guy, your common sense is uncommon and rich; and Jagmeet, your sheer delight at the world and your passion for justice is infectious.
But I gotta make a choice like we all do.
I landed with Charlie because, well, he has this common touch, and smile, and fierceness that draws me along the political path ahead of us. A path where we re-build, grow, reach, honour our roots, showing what New Democrats are about.
Proud to support you, Charlie.
Former NDP Deputy Leader & MP for Vancouver East
I’m supporting Charlie Angus for our next NDP Leader because I know he believes in the same things I do. And I know what he believes in not by what he says, but what he does.
Since his first day as an MP on Parliament Hill, Charlie has worked tirelessly to expose and address the injustices and inequities facing Indigenous families on reserves across Canada. His dedication to aboriginal communities and relationships with aboriginal leaders has given him a trustworthy voice to represent their concerns in Parliament. For years, from the back benches, he has been demanding that the Canadian government address the deplorable conditions within which they are forced to live and educate their children. And, as we know from the amount of press he has been able to attract on the issue, people listen when Charlie talks. He is informed, passionate and eloquent. This issue alone is enough to earn Charlie my support.
But Charlie doesn't just talk. Over the years I watched him fight for dignity for the downtrodden as well as the survival of our rural communities. When I first met Charlie and his wife, Brit, they were living in a group home for the homeless, including ex-convicts, which they had started in downtown Toronto. They involved the local community and built a social support system to keep the house going all the while supporting their housemates to pull their lives together. Several years later they chose to make a new home in the small mining town of Cobalt, where once again they became deeply involved in the community and started a newspaper to highlight the issues facing the people in the small towns around them. They wrote, edited and published the paper for years and subscriptions came from as far away as Australia. During this time Charlie organized the forces necessary that ultimately stopped the provincially supported Adams Mine garbage dump. Charlie succeeded by creating local alliances, significantly including local indigenous communities in a consolidated effort to protect the environment. This was an outstanding achievement that demonstrated his ability to organize and support ordinary people facing extraordinary forces.
Charlie doesn't just talk. His entire adult life he has chosen to understand the issues that people face by being with them. He listens and exposes the truth so that change can happen. He took this resourceful spirit with him to Ottawa. I remember when I first visited his office on the Hill, his staff was busy following his mandate: people come first. The senior citizen calling from his Northern Ontario riding who had just had her electricity turned off because she couldn't pay her bills was being assisted on one line while Charlie and his staff were getting a meeting together with the mining industry planning developments in another area of the riding. He told me he had been invited to go to Europe to a conference with many of his MP colleagues, but he chose to turn down the trip because there was so much work to be done for the people in his riding. He turned to me and said, "How can I go to Europe if there are people without electricity in my riding?"
At the same time, at a broader level, Charlie is engaged in the bigger picture of Canada and what makes us a truly great country. He has an abiding commitment to the protection of human rights including sexual and reproductive health rights. Charlie worked closely with me to develop and get a resolution passed through Parliament calling upon the Canadian government to commit to the improvement of sexual and reproductive health for women in our First Nations, minority and rural populations where access to high-quality reproductive health care is often limited. With Charlie's generous, tactful and strategic help, we got all party support and the resolution was unanimously passed, a rare feat under the Harper government.
For Charlie, everyone matters. The day that resolution was drawn up, there also happened to be a demonstration of several 1000s of forestry workers on Parliament Hill. We finished the meeting on reproductive health and walked out into the demonstration where I watched as he was personally greeted by dozens of demonstrators from Northern Ontario. He greeted most of them by name. They were unionists who knew he was fighting for their rights and their very survival. It was an unexpected and overwhelming and raucous scene, but Charlie took it in stride. He's deft. Later I watched as he rose without notes during question period and challenged the government to address the grievances of the protesters. His oratory was inspiring. He was also the only one who rose without notes... It was a day in his life supporting human rights and workers' rights across this country. A mere snapshot of Charlie.
Charlie's time to be leader of the NDP is now. He's ready. He has the experience, the respect, the knowledge, the passion and the know-how. He listens. He cares. He's informed. He's smart. And he has the most adept, eloquent and passionate voice in Parliament today. It is time for us to let Charlie lead.
Bridget Lynch, RM
Partner, Community Midwives of Toronto
Past president of the Association of Ontario Midwives
Past President of the International Confederation of Midwives
"Charlie has my vote because he understands families. I know he will have my back when the Liberals try to strip universal programs. I know he will hold the Liberals and Conservatives accountable for Indigenous education, so every child in Canada has the same opportunities. I know he will be the strongest voice for working families in this nation because he sees that the Liberal changes to the CCTB and Income Tax deductions actually cost working families instead of helping them. I know he will have my back because he will make corporations pay their fair share. I know he has my back because he lives the same principles of social justice that have me volunteering in schools and in my community. Charlie has my vote because Charlie has my back."
Shannon Porcellini, Minivan Mom of 3, Former Catholic School Trustee
"Charlie is the real deal. More comfortable in jeans and a bush jacket, than in a suit and tie, he's basically a working-class, reluctant politician. I describe Charlie as reluctant, but that's not a reflection of his effectiveness. It's a reflection of his character - Charlie would rather be surrounded by "real" working-class people, than the overly-manicured politicians in Ottawa.
Skeptical? Google a few YouTube videos of Mr. Angus speaking in the House, and it's immediately clear that he's articulate, accurate, passionate and proud to represent working people. Speak with him in person, and you immediately realize that Charlie is charismatic, funny, intelligent, thoughtful, and caring.
He's is comfortably proud of his left-wing beliefs: he cares about this country; he's angry at the treatment of Indigenous peoples; he wants life to be better for the 99%; and, he's angry at our governments for continuing to ignore us and rip us off. I'll be voting for Charlie Angus and I encourage you to join me!"
Jamie West, President, Sudbury and District Labour Council
I endorse Charlie Angus for leader of the Federal New Democratic Party because we share a common vision for our nation. A Canada that finally takes the necessary steps to reconcile with our Indigenous Peoples. A Canada which ensures the universality of our social programmes remain intact. A Canada that protects our working class. Charlie has a life-long record of advocacy for Canadians. I stand with Charlie Angus because he has our backs.
Trustee, Greater Essex County District School Board
"As a criminal defence attorney, I have seen first-hand the damage caused by the Trudeau/Harper method of one-size-fits-all crime legislation. At-risk youth, Indigenous accused, and citizens struggling with addictions and mental health and wellness issues deserve a fighter, not a talking point.
Charlie has always been on the side of Canada’s most poor and vulnerable people. I know Charlie has the back of Canadians in need, and that’s why I’ve got his back in this campaign."
"People ask me why I support Charlie Angus in the race for leadership.
I've been trying to think of the right words. The Canadian government right now is riddled with racial and social injustice, especially for Indigenous people and POC. The system itself is horribly oppressive for people of colour and its also pushing people into poverty.
Current leadership focuses on corporate relations more than people relations and its hurting families. We aren't teaching our children about the true history of Canada. We don't teach our children that Canada had our own holocaust.
So what does this have to do with Charlie?
Charlie has the guts to stand up and shine a light on all of it. He's not afraid to stir shit up and because of that, he's earned my respect. He focusses on people instead of corporations. He said right to me that he plans to "lay down the brickwork" to get more Indigenous people into leadership. I believe him because he lives he says. He visits our people. He fights for those who the government systematically oppresses, and then turns around and tries to give them the opportunity to have a voice and a place at the table. He makes an effort to teach people where the problems are.
He's not afraid to tell you when things won't work and when they will. But he'll still listen to your arguments.
He is human. He would be glad to sit down at the Laughing Buddha with you, have a beer and chat with you. He's not a big fancy man with fancy socks. When you ask him who inspires him he won't give you the diplomatic "Mahatma Gandhi", but rather will describe a young Indigenous girl with fire.
He's just a guy from Northern Ontario who wants to work hard for us, who is showing us his resume. And that's why I'm voting for Charlie Angus this fall. He's got your back."
Kaella-Marie Earle Azhiinienhs Kwe
"Each candidate certainly has their own style and credentials. Thinking about someone who represents all of us, many activists continually engage people who have walked particular journeys. Canadians engage and are moved when others share their stories - we crave authenticity. Someone leading our government and forming it to work best for most Canadians really needs to have walked a diverse journey. Most of us don't have a life-based in academia, $5,000 suits or drive a sports car.
We've also seen what investing ourselves in a person who tells us everything we want to hear without the journey to back up those promises gets us - left holding a bag of promises. We need some stability. We need someone who will keep the promises they make. Governance isn't as easy as flipping a switch to turn things around.
We need someone real, who has enough experience in governance to know what to do yet has a solid background to not be jaded or succumb to its trappings. I see one person in this race that has walked a solid, diverse journey to know what needs to be done, knows exactly how to achieve that, and won't play smoke and mirrors to promise what they can deliver. That's why I'm supporting Charlie Angus for leader of the federal NDP. I urge you to become a member so that you too can support someone who can make the best changes for what all Canadians need."
Patrick Hannon, Executive Board Member – CUPE Ontario and Former President – Windsor Tecumseh NDP Riding Association
"I became a strong supporter of Charlie Angus in 2005 when he brought the crisis in Attawapiskat to our collective attention. He has a profound understanding of the most pressing issue that Canada has to face if we want to move forward as a nation with progress, sustainability and dignity: reparations to the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.
He knows that we can only live in a just society when we truly acknowledge nation to nations relationships. Also: he is a former punk rocker who plays the guitar. I will dance when he is our Prime Minister."
Catherine McKenney, Ottawa City Councillor for Somerset Ward