McMillan was 45 years old during the 1979 campaign, and was a small businessman in Toronto. He was once the treasurer of the Eglinton branch of the socialist Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, but later shifted his political views to the right. Although an independent candidate in 1979, he ran in support of Fabien Roy and the Social Credit Party. McMillan called for the return of capital punishment and corporal punishment, and supported the right to a home for every couple.
His political views are an unusual combination of social conservatism and anti-poverty activism. In 1980, he and his young children took part in a protest against homosexuality outside the headquarters of the Toronto Star newspaper. He was a member of the Fair Play Crusaders during the same period, and protested against government cutbacks.
McMillan has been a candidate in several municipal elections, and ran for Mayor of Toronto in 1985 under the pseudonym "Aaron Abraham". He chose the name to appear first on the alphabetically-listed ballot. He became known for yelling "Throw the bum out" at Mayor Art Eggleton during all-candidates meetings, and for giving advice on where to buy bacon bits at 69 cents to the pound.
McMillan successfully defended himself against a charge of causing a disturbance during the 1985 election. The charge resulted from an altercation with Toronto police, who had asked him to remove property that was blocking a sidewalk in front of his home. McMillan responded to the request by saying that he was holding a charity sale for the United Way, grabbing a portable amplifier and microphone and yelling "Why do the police hate people who want to help charities?". The presiding judge ruled that the matter was a "tempest in a teapot", did not constitute a disturbance in the legal sense of the term. In its coverage of the proceedings, the Globe and Mail newspaper drew attention to McMillan's "rambling method" of questioning witnesses and noted that the assistant crown attorney objected to one of his questions "on the grounds that it is stupid". When asked why McMillan was not informed of his rights as soon as he was arrested, Constable Peter Benney testified that "at the time no one could get a word in edgewise".
McMillan was charged with assault in 1986 while protesting Sunday shopping. Newspaper reports do not indicate if the charges went to trial.
McMillan was once a fundamentalist Christian preacher.
|1977 provincial||Oriole||Independent||929||4/6||John Williams, Progressive Conservative|
|1978 municipal||Toronto Ward Eight||n/a||374||7/10||Fred Beavis and Tom Clifford|
|1979 federal||Beaches||Independent||69||8/8||Robin Richardson, Progressive Conservative|
|1980 municipal||Toronto Ward Eight||n/a||1,264||7/10||Fred Beavis and Tom Clifford|
|1985 municipal||Toronto Mayor||n/a||1,089||5/14||Art Eggleton|
A Jim McMillan campaigned for Toronto City Council in 2000, but it is not clear if this was the same person. The 2000 candidate received 924 votes (6.19%) in Toronto's 15th ward, finishing third against incumbent councillor Howard Moscoe. There is also a James McMillan running in the 2006 municipal election.