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Leader of the Official Opposition (Canada)

Leader of the Official Opposition
Chef de l'Opposition officielle
Incumbent
Pierre Poilievre
since September 10, 2022
StyleThe Honourable
Member ofParliament
ResidenceStornoway
Term lengthWhile leader of the largest party not in government
Inaugural holderAlexander Mackenzie
FormationMarch 6, 1873
DeputyMelissa Lantsman
Tim Uppal
SalaryCA$90,400 (2022)[1]

The leader of the Official Opposition (French: chef de l'Opposition officielle), formally known as the leader of His Majesty's Loyal Opposition (French: chef de la loyale opposition de Sa Majesté), is the politician who leads the Official Opposition in Canada, typically the leader of the party possessing the most seats in the House of Commons that is not the governing party or part of the governing coalition.

Pierre Poilievre has been the leader of the Opposition since September 10, 2022, when he was elected leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, following the 2022 leadership election. He succeeded Candice Bergen, who had served as the party's interim leader from February 2, 2022.[2]

Though the leader of the Opposition must be a member of the House of Commons,[3] the office should not be confused with Opposition House leader, who is a frontbencher charged with managing the business of the Opposition in the House of Commons, and is formally titled Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons. There is also a leader of the Opposition in the Senate, who is usually of the same party as the leader of the Opposition in the house. If the leader of the opposition party is not a member of Parliament (MP), then a sitting MP acts as parliamentary leader and assumes the role of the leader of the Opposition until the party leader can obtain a seat.

The leader of the Opposition is entitled to the same levels of pay and protection as a Cabinet minister and is often made a member of the King's Privy Council, generally the only non-government member of the House of Commons afforded that privilege. The leader of the Opposition is entitled to reside at the official residence of Stornoway and ranks fourteenth on the Order of Precedence, after Cabinet ministers and before lieutenant governors of the provinces. In the House of Commons seating plan, the leader of the Opposition sits directly across from the prime minister.

The term leader of the opposition is used in the Parliament of Canada Act[4] and the Standing Orders of the House of Commons,[5] as is the term official opposition.[6] The terms leader of the loyal opposition, his majesty's opposition,[7] and loyal opposition are sometimes used,[8] but, are not in either the act or the standing orders. The word loyal is used to communicate the party's loyalty to monarch of Canada—as the nonpartisan personification of the nation and the state's authority—even as its members oppose the governing party.[7]

Two leaders of the Opposition have died in office: Wilfrid Laurier in 1919 and Jack Layton in 2011.[9]

Leaders of the Official Opposition

Portrait Name
Electoral district
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Prime minister
Party
Term start[10] Term end[11]
Alexander Mackenzie
MP for Lambton
(1822–1892)
March 6,
1873
November 5,
1873
Liberal Sir John A. Macdonald
Liberal-Conservative
Sir John A. Macdonald
MP for Kingston
(1815–1891)
November 6,
1873
October 16,
1878
Conservative Alexander Mackenzie
Liberal
Alexander Mackenzie
MP for Lambton
(1822–1892)
October 17,
1878
April 27,
1880
Liberal Sir John A. Macdonald
Conservative
Vacant
April 27 – May 3, 1880
Edward Blake
MP for Durham West
(1833–1912)
May 4,
1880
June 2,
1887
Liberal
Vacant
June 3 – 22, 1887
Wilfrid Laurier
MP for Quebec East
(1841–1919)
June 23,
1887
July 10,
1896
Liberal
John Abbott
Conservative
Sir John Thompson
Conservative
Sir Mackenzie Bowell
Conservative
Sir Charles Tupper
Conservative
Sir Charles Tupper[NB 1]
MP for Cape Breton
(1821–1915)
July 11,
1896
February 5,
1901
Conservative Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Liberal
Robert Borden
MP for Halifax (until 1904, from 1908)
MP for Carleton (1905–1908)

(1854–1937)
February 6,
1901
October 9,
1911
Conservative
Sir Wilfrid Laurier
MP for Quebec East
(1841–1919)
October 10,
1911
February 17,
1919[NB 2]
Liberal Sir Robert Borden
Conservative
Daniel Duncan McKenzie[NB 3]
MP for Cape Breton North and Victoria
(1859–1927)
February 17,
1919
August 7,
1919
Liberal
William Lyon Mackenzie King
MP for Prince
(1874–1950)
August 7,
1919
December 28,
1921
Liberal
Arthur Meighen
Conservative
Arthur Meighen[NB 4]
MP for Grenville (1922–1925)
MP for Portage la Prairie (from 1925)

(1874–1960)
December 29,
1921
June 28,
1926
Conservative William Lyon
Mackenzie King

Liberal
William Lyon Mackenzie King
MP for Prince Albert
(1874–1950)
June 29,
1926
September 24,
1926
Liberal Arthur Meighen
Conservative
Vacant[NB 5]
September 25 – October 10, 1926
William Lyon
Mackenzie King

Liberal
Hugh Guthrie[NB 6]
MP for Wellington South
(1866–1939)
October 11,
1926
October 11,
1927
Conservative
R. B. Bennett
MP for Calgary West
(1870–1947)
October 12,
1927
August 6,
1930
Conservative
William Lyon Mackenzie King
MP for Prince Albert
(1874–1950)
August 7,
1930
October 22,
1935
Liberal R. B. Bennett
Conservative
R. B. Bennett
MP for Calgary West
(1870–1947)
October 23,
1935
July 6,
1938
Conservative William Lyon
Mackenzie King

Liberal
Robert James Manion
MP for London
(1881–1943)
July 7,
1938
May 13,
1940
Conservative
Richard Hanson[NB 7]
MP for Fredericton
(1879–1948)
May 14,
1940
January 1,
1943
Conservative
Progressive
Conservative
[NB 8]
Gordon Graydon[NB 9]
MP for Peel
(1896–1953)
January 1,
1943
June 10,
1945
Progressive
Conservative
John Bracken
MP for Neepawa
(1883–1969)
June 11,
1945
July 20,
1948
Progressive
Conservative
Vacant
July 21 – October 1, 1948
George A. Drew
MP for Carleton
(1894–1973)
October 2,
1948
November 1,
1954
Progressive
Conservative
Louis St. Laurent
Liberal
William Earl Rowe[NB 10]
MP for Dufferin—Simcoe
(1894–1984)
November 1,
1954
February 1,
1955
Progressive
Conservative
George A. Drew
MP for Carleton
(1894–1973)
February 1,
1955
August 1,
1956
Progressive
Conservative
William Earl Rowe[NB 11]
MP for Dufferin—Simcoe
(1894–1984)
August 1,
1956
December 13,
1956
Progressive
Conservative
John Diefenbaker
MP for Prince Albert
(1895–1979)
December 14,
1956
June 20,
1957
Progressive
Conservative
Louis St. Laurent
MP for Quebec East
(1882–1973)
June 21,
1957
January 16,
1958
Liberal John Diefenbaker
Progressive
Conservative
Lester B. Pearson
MP for Algoma East
(1897–1972)
January 16,
1958
April 22,
1963
Liberal
John Diefenbaker
MP for Prince Albert
(1895–1979)
April 22,
1963
September 9,
1967
Progressive
Conservative
Lester B. Pearson
Liberal
Michael Starr[NB 12]
MP for Ontario
(1910–2000)
September 9,
1967
November 6,
1967
Progressive
Conservative
Robert Stanfield
MP for Colchester—Hants (1967–1968)
MP for Halifax (from 1968)
(1914–2003)
November 6,
1967
February 22,
1976
Progressive
Conservative
Pierre Trudeau
Liberal
Joe Clark
MP for Rocky Mountain
(born 1939)
February 22,
1976
June 4,
1979
Progressive
Conservative
Pierre Trudeau
MP for Mount Royal
(1919–2000)
June 4,
1979
March 3,
1980
Liberal Joe Clark
Progressive
Conservative
Joe Clark
MP for Yellowhead
(born 1939)
March 3,
1980
February 2,
1983
Progressive
Conservative
Pierre Trudeau
Liberal
Erik Nielsen[NB 13]
MP for Yukon
(1924–2008)
February 2,
1983
August 29,
1983
Progressive
Conservative
Brian Mulroney
MP for Central Nova
(1939–2024)
August 29,
1983
September 16,
1984
Progressive
Conservative
John Turner
Liberal
John Turner
MP for Vancouver Quadra
(1929–2020)
September 17,
1984
February 8,
1990
Liberal Brian Mulroney
Progressive
Conservative
Herb Gray[NB 14]
MP for Windsor West
(1931–2014)
February 8,
1990
December 21,
1990
Liberal
Jean Chrétien
MP for Beauséjour
(born 1934)
December 21,
1990
November 4,
1993
Liberal
Kim Campbell
Progressive
Conservative
Lucien Bouchard
MP for Lac-Saint-Jean
(born 1938)
November 4,
1993
January 15,
1996
Bloc Québécois Jean Chrétien
Liberal
Gilles Duceppe[NB 15]
MP for Laurier—Sainte-Marie
(born 1947)
January 15,
1996
February 17,
1996
Bloc Québécois
Michel Gauthier
MP for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
(1950–2020)
February 17,
1996
March 15,
1997
Bloc Québécois
Gilles Duceppe
MP for Laurier—Sainte-Marie
(born 1947)
March 15,
1997
June 2,
1997
Bloc Québécois
Preston Manning
MP for Calgary Southwest
(born 1942)
June 2,
1997
March 27,
2000
Reform
Deborah Grey[NB 16]
MP for Edmonton North
(born 1952)
March 27,
2000
September 11,
2000
Canadian Alliance
Stockwell Day
MP for Okanagan—Coquihalla
(born 1950)
September 11,
2000
December 12,
2001
Canadian Alliance
John Reynolds
MP for West Vancouver—
Sunshine Coast

(born 1942)
December 12,
2001
May 21,
2002
Canadian Alliance
Stephen Harper
MP for Calgary Southwest
(born 1959)
May 21,
2002
January 9,
2004
Canadian Alliance
Paul Martin
Liberal
Grant Hill[NB 17]
MP for Macleod
(born 1943)
January 9,
2004
March 20,
2004
Canadian Alliance
Conservative[NB 18]
Stephen Harper
MP for Calgary Southwest
(born 1959)
March 20,
2004
February 6,
2006
Conservative
Bill Graham[NB 19]
MP for Toronto Centre
(1939–2022)
February 6,
2006
December 2,
2006
Liberal Stephen Harper
Conservative
Stéphane Dion
MP for Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
(born 1955)
December 2,
2006
December 10,
2008
Liberal
Michael Ignatieff[NB 20]
MP for Etobicoke–Lakeshore
(born 1947)
December 10,
2008
May 2,
2011
Liberal
Jack Layton
MP for Toronto—Danforth
(1950–2011)
May 2,
2011
August 22,
2011[NB 21]
New Democratic
Nycole Turmel[NB 22]
MP for Hull—Aylmer
(born 1942)
August 22,
2011
March 24,
2012
New Democratic
Tom Mulcair
MP for Outremont
(born 1954)
March 24,
2012
November 5,
2015
New Democratic
Rona Ambrose[NB 23]
MP for Sturgeon River—Parkland
(born 1969)
November 5,
2015
May 27,
2017
Conservative Justin Trudeau
Liberal
Andrew Scheer
MP for Regina—Qu'Appelle
(born 1979)
May 27,
2017
August 24,
2020
Conservative
Erin O'Toole
MP for Durham
(born 1973)
August 24,
2020
February 2,
2022
Conservative
oLeft=10 Candice Bergen[NB 24]
MP for Portage—Lisgar
(born 1964)
February 2,
2022
September 10,
2022
Conservative
Pierre Poilievre
MP for Carleton
(born 1979)
September 10,
2022
Incumbent Conservative

Deputy leaders of the Opposition

Portrait Name
Electoral district
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Leader of the
Opposition
Term start Term end
Denis Lebel[12]
MP for Lac-Saint-Jean
(born 1954)
November 19,
2015
July 24,
2017
Conservative Rona Ambrose
Andrew Scheer
Lisa Raitt[13]
MP for Milton
(born 1968)
July 24,
2017
October 21,
2019
Conservative
Leona Alleslev[14]
MP for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill
(born 1968)
November 28,
2019
July 12,
2020
Conservative
oLeft=10 Candice Bergen[15][16]
MP for Portage—Lisgar
(born 1964)
September 2,
2020
February 2,
2022
Conservative Erin O'Toole
oLeft=10 Luc Berthold[17]
MP for Mégantic—L'Érable
(born 1965 or 1966)
February 6,
2022
September 13,
2022
Conservative Candice Bergen
oLeft=10 Melissa Lantsman
MP for Thornhill
(born 1984)
September 13,
2022
Incumbent Conservative Pierre Poilievre
oLeft=10 Tim Uppal
MP for Edmonton Mill Woods
(born 1974)
September 13,
2022
Incumbent Conservative

Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet

The Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet in Canada is composed of members of the main opposition party and is responsible for holding the Government to account and for developing and disseminating the party's policy positions. Members of the Official Opposition are generally referred to as opposition critics, but the term Shadow Minister (which is generally used in other Westminster systems) is also used.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Tupper lost his seat in the 1900 election and resigned as party leader and Leader of the Opposition three months later.
  2. ^ Died in office.
  3. ^ McKenzie served as Leader of the Opposition from Laurier's death until King's election as leader of the Liberal Party.
  4. ^ Arthur Meighen's Conservatives formed the Official Opposition although the Progressive Party had more seats.
  5. ^ Meighen failed to win his seat and immediately resigned as leader of the Conservative Party.
  6. ^ Guthrie served as Leader of the Opposition from shortly after Meighen's resignation until Bennett's election as leader of the Conservative Party.
  7. ^ Hanson served as Leader of the Opposition from Manion's resignation until Meighen's election as leader of the Conservative Party. He continued as acting Leader of the Opposition throughout Meighen's term as Conservative leader, as Meighen failed in his attempts to win election to the House of Commons, and continued as acting Leader of the Opposition from Bracken's election as PC leader until his own resignation.
  8. ^ The Conservative Party was renamed the Progressive Conservative Party in 1942.
  9. ^ Graydon served as Leader of the Opposition from Hanson's resignation until Bracken entered Parliament in the 20th general election.
  10. ^ Rowe served as acting Leader of the Opposition in winter 1954-55 due to Drew's poor health.
  11. ^ Rowe initially served as acting Leader of the Opposition for six weeks when Drew was ill, then became interim leader of the Progressive Conservative Party until Diefenbaker was elected as PC leader.
  12. ^ Starr served as Leader of the Opposition from Stanfield's election as PC leader until Stanfield entered Parliament via by-election.
  13. ^ Nielsen served as acting Leader of the Opposition for the two weeks preceding Clark's resignation from the post of leader of the PC Party. He continued as Leader of the Opposition during the 1983 Progressive Conservative leadership campaign in which Clark unsuccessfully ran to succeed himself. Nielsen continued as Leader of the Opposition from Mulroney's election as PC leader until Mulroney entered Parliament via by-election.
  14. ^ Gray became acting Leader of the Opposition after Turner announced his intention to step down as party leader. Gray continued as Leader of the Opposition from Chrétien's election as Liberal leader until Chrétien entered Parliament via a by-election.
  15. ^ Duceppe served as Leader of the Opposition during the 1996 Bloc Québécois leadership election initiated by Bouchard's sudden resignation from federal politics to become Premier of Quebec.
  16. ^ Grey served as Leader of the Opposition during the 2000 Canadian Alliance leadership campaign in which Manning unsuccessfully ran to succeed himself. She continued as Leader of the Opposition from Day's election as Alliance leader until Day entered Parliament via byelection.
  17. ^ Hill served as Leader of the Opposition during the 2004 Conservative leadership election in which Harper successfully ran to be leader of the new party.
  18. ^ Although the PC Party and Canadian Alliance were recognized as merged on December 7, 2003, by Elections Canada for the purposes of elections law, they did not merge their parliamentary caucuses until February 2, 2004.
  19. ^ Graham served as interim parliamentary leader and Leader of the Opposition until the 2006 Liberal leadership convention.
  20. ^ Ignatieff served as interim Leader of Liberal Party until being elected Leader in the 2009 Liberal leadership convention.
  21. ^ Died in office.
  22. ^ Turmel became interim leader of the NDP on July 28, 2011, when Layton began his leave of absence, but she did not become the Leader of the Opposition until Layton's death.
  23. ^ Ambrose was elected interim party leader by the Conservative caucus to serve until a permanent leader was elected at the 2017 Conservative Party of Canada leadership election.
  24. ^ Bergen was elected interim party leader by the Conservative caucus to serve until a permanent leader was elected at the 2022 Conservative Party of Canada leadership election.

References

  1. ^ "Indemnities, Salaries and Allowances". Parliament of Canada. Parliament of Canada. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  2. ^ "Conservatives elect Candice Bergen as interim party leader - National | Globalnews.ca". Global News. Retrieved February 3, 2022.
  3. ^ Role of Opposition Parties in Canada, Compendium of Procedure, House of Commons of Canada.
  4. ^ Parliament of Canada Act, RSC 1985, c. P-1, s. 50(2), 62, 62.3, 63(2).
  5. ^ House of Commons (2017), Bosc, Marc; Gagnon, André (eds.), "Appendix 14: Standing Orders of the House of Commons", 43(1), 50(2), 74(1), 81(4), 84(7), 101(3) (3 ed.)
  6. ^ House of Commons 2017, p. 35(2), 45(5), 73(1), 83(2), 106(2), 114(2)
  7. ^ a b Boyko, John (November 10, 2022), "Opposition Party in Canada", The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Canada, retrieved March 9, 2023
  8. ^ House of Commons 2017, p. Note 190
  9. ^ McGregor, Janyce (August 22, 2011). "Parliament and Layton's passing". CBC News. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  10. ^ Parliament of Canada. "Leaders of the Official Opposition". Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  11. ^ Parliament of Canada. "Leaders of the Official Opposition". Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  12. ^ "Roles - Hon. Denis Lebel". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  13. ^ "Roles - Hon. Lisa Raitt". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  14. ^ Jones, Ryan Patrick (July 13, 2020). "Leona Alleslev steps down as Conservative deputy leader, backs MacKay's leadership bid". CBC News. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  15. ^ "Roles - Hon. Candice Bergen". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  16. ^ "O'Toole names top Tories for Commons roles, with Bergen as deputy leader". Kamloops This Week. Retrieved September 2, 2020.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Alain Rayes resigns as Conservative Party's Quebec lieutenant". CBC News. February 6, 2022. Retrieved February 7, 2022.

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Leader of the Official Opposition (Canada)
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