Wild Northerner Magazine 2015/16 Winter Issue - Page 52


Calling Cobalt


The Wild Northerner

Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus has worn many hats in his life. The fiery 53-year-old NDP member is well-known as a person who has stood up and made sure the voices of people in northern Ontario are heard in Parliament. He has been elected five times in a row since 2004 for the riding, speaking volumes about his commitment to all people in the region. Angus is also known for his work as a writer, historian, musician, broadcaster and editor. It doesn’t matter what hat Angus is wearing, he looks most forward to taking it off at his home for the last 30 years, in Cobalt, and spending time with his family and friends. Angus loves the rugged beauty of northern Ontario. There isn’t another place Angus would rather be. Angus took time out of his busy schedule to give the readers of Wild Northerner Magazine an insight into his passion for northern Ontario, the people and culture.

Q- What does it mean to you to be from northern Ontario? Tell us the passion you have for the region?

A- Spanish writer Jose Ortega y Gasset says: "Tell me the landscape in which you live and I will tell you who you are." In the north our sense of identity is deeply rooted in the landscape of the boreal shield. The immensity of this pre-cambrian landscape creates a sense of isolation from the sub-urban homogeneity of the south. It also reinforces a strong sense of social solidarity among the people who call themselves northerners. This deep connection to place informs my work as a politician, historian and musician. Put simply, when I am with these rough-hewn people of the north I know I am truly at home.

Q- What do you love about the wilderness and outdoors of northern Ontario?

A- From the window of my house I can look out on the craggy, ice-covered cliff of Cobalt. Ragged birch clusters and pine trees cling to the rock edges. Trails from the back yard lead up into the old silver mining sites that dot the hills. I love the immensity of the land. I love the silence of being in such a seemingly endless landscape. I love the light on the horizon, and that is so different from month to month.