Bud Wildman

Charles Jackson "Bud" Wildman (born June 3, 1946) is a Canadian politician. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a New Democratic Party Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) from 1975 to 1999, representing the riding of Algoma, and was a cabinet minister in the government of Bob Rae.

Bud Wildman
Ontario MPP
In office
Preceded byBernt Gilbertson
Succeeded byRiding abolished
Personal details
Charles Jackson Wildman

(1946-06-03) June 3, 1946
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Political partyOntario New Democratic Party
OccupationHigh school teacher


He was educated at Carleton University, the McArthur College of Education, Queen's University and Algoma University. He lived in Echo Bay, Ontario after graduating, and worked as a high school history teacher. He and his wife raised four children.[1] His son Jody Wildman is a municipal politician who, after first being elected as a councillor in 2000, has represented the Township of St. Joseph as mayor since 2003.


Wildman was elected to the legislature in the provincial election of 1975,[2] defeating incumbent Progressive Conservative Bernt Gilbertson by 398 votes. Wildman's victory was regarded by many as an upset; he received support from NDP bastions such as Wawa, but also from more traditionally Conservative areas on the north shore of Lake Huron.

He was re-elected by an increased margin over PC candidate Dave Liddle in the 1977 election, and retained his seat by significant margins in the elections of 1981, 1985, 1987, 1990 and 1995.

Wildman supported Jim Foulds's bid to lead the provincial NDP in 1982.[3]


The NDP won the 1990 provincial election, and Wildman was appointed to cabinet as Minister of Natural Resources[4] and Minister responsible for Native Affairs[2] on October 1, 1990. He was promoted to Minister of the Environment and Energy on February 3, 1993.[5]

As Natural Resources minister, Wildman initiated the first public audit of Ontario's forest resources[6] and promoted an ecosystem management approach for forest harvesting.[7] Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights was also approved during his tenure as Minister of Environment and Energy.[8]

As Minister responsible for Native Affairs during the entire tenure of the Rae government, Wildman instituted a regime of dealing with First Nations on a government to government basis, signing a "Statement of Political Relationship" with Ontario First Nation Chiefs, and concluded a number of land claims settlements.[9] He also established the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy, which sought to address health problems among native peoples in a culturally sensitive manner.[10]

In January 1991, Wildman issued an order permitting members of the Golden Lake First Nation to hunt and fish in Algonquin Park pending settlement of the band's claim of the Ottawa Valley which included the park. However a broad coalition of park users protested the order and formed a group called the Adhoc Committee to Save Algonquin Park.[4] The committee was eventually dissolved once the claim was settled which restricted hunting in the park.

Cabinet positions

Ontario Provincial Government of Bob Rae
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Ruth Grier (Environment), Brian Charlton (Energy) Minister of Environment and Energy
Brenda Elliott
Lyn McLeod Minister of Natural Resources
Also Responsible for Native Affairs
Howard Hampton

Return to opposition

The NDP were defeated in the 1995 general election and reduced to third-party status, although Wildman retained the Algoma riding by a reduced margin.[11] Rae resigned as leader the next year and Wildman served as interim leader[2] in the legislature from February 10, 1996 until June 24, 1996 when Howard Hampton took over the position after his victory in that year's Ontario NDP leadership convention.[12] Wildman had been approached by the NDP's northern Ontario MPPs about running for the leadership of the party but declined.

The Algoma riding was radically redistributed in 1996, merging with the neighbouring riding of Algoma—Manitoulin and incorporating other territory from surrounding ridings as well. Wildman decided not to run in the 1999 election, and retired from provincial politics after almost a quarter century at Queen's Park.[2]

Federal politics

Wildman attempted to win a seat in the federal House of Commons in the 2000 federal election, running in Sault Ste. Marie for the New Democratic Party. The NDP actively targeted this seat as winnable, and party leader Alexa McDonough visited the riding very late in the campaign. Wildman was however unsuccessful, finishing second against Liberal incumbent Carmen Provenzano.[13]

Later life

Since leaving politics Wildman has worked as a consultant. He served as the chair of the Board of Governors of Algoma University.[2] Wildman is also a member of the board of directors of the Sault Ste. Marie and District Group Health Centre.


  1. "Ontario's first NDP cabinet". Toronto Star. 2 October 1990. p. A17.
  2. "Wildman to be honoured". The Sault Star. October 15, 2009. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  3. Stead, Sylvia (January 14, 1982). "Rae's skills earn ex-leader's support". The Globe and Mail. p. 3.
  4. Killan, Gerald (1993). Protected places: a history of Ontario's provincial parks system. Dundurn Press Ltd. p. 382. ISBN 978-1-55002-180-6.
  5. "Rae shuffles deck Lankin gets major ministry, new posts for Charlton, Christopherson". The Hamilton Spectator. February 3, 1993. p. A1.
  6. Mittelstaedt, Martin (December 5, 1992). "Spruce losing ground in Northern Ontario Forestry report warns of tree's decline". The Globe and Mail. p. B3.
  7. "Biodiversity News Notes". Canadian Biodiversity. Spring 1991 (1): 28–32.
  8. McAndrew, Brian (June 1, 1993). "Province introduces green bill of rights". Toronto Star. p. A10.
  9. "Ontario backs native self-rule". The Windsor Star. August 2, 1991. p. D6.
  10. "Ontario strategy aimed at helping natives". Toronto Star. August 20, 1994. p. C3.
  11. "Summary of Valid Ballots by Candidate". Elections Ontario. June 8, 1995. Archived from the original on March 7, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  12. "Wildman interim NDP leader till June". The Spectator. Hamilton, Ont. February 12, 1996. p. A5.
  13. "Election Results". Star - Phoenix. Saskatoon, SK. November 28, 2000. p. A8.
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