Plane Talk: Charlie Angus on music, leadership and how to throw a great party

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NDP MP Charlie Angus takes a flight with Tom Clark to talk about why he left school early and the calls he has been receiving about leading his party – Sep 25, 2016

Charlie Angus doesn’t know yet if he wants to lead the NDP. But if he does, and one day ends up prime minister of Canada, he’ll throw one heck of a party.

Angus, the outgoing MP for a huge swath of Northern Ontario, took to the skies over Ottawa with The West Block’s Tom Clark this weekend. Flying over Harrington Lake, the prime minister’s rural residence, Angus said he’d love to play host there one day.

“I’m going to invite everybody I know from Northern Ontario and we’re going to have a bash there and it’ll be something,” Angus joked.

“Where’s the cops? It’s going to go on all weekend if I become prime minister, I’ll tell you.”

In fact, Angus says he hasn’t even decided if he’ll run to replace Tom Mulcair, who lost a confidence vote last spring and will be handing the party over to a new leader next year. The Northern MP never intended to get into politics in the first place.

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“Well to tell you the truth, not a lot about the profession ever attracted me,” he said.

“I know it sounds crazy and dramatic, but I was standing on a blockade with farmers and First Nations people in Northern Ontario on the Adams Mine Dump Road, because it was a project that I think could have enormous environmental risk, and … the people (who) should have been there to protect the interests of the environment, of due process of the region, failed us. I decided that I would go and try and be a voice on issues that mattered to people in my region.”

Angus’ political career has become something of a second life for him. His first love was music, and he left school at 17 to form a band.

“We went on the road for a number of years with the band, L’Étranger, and then I formed another band, the Grievous Angels which is more of a country folk band,” he recalled. “As you get older, you can’t really play punk rock. Well that’s my feeling.”

Watch the full interview above, and see the extended version here:

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