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Leader of the Official Opposition (Canada)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition
Chef de la loyale opposition de Sa Majesté
Erin O'Toole

since August 24, 2020
Official Opposition
Parliament of Canada
StyleThe Honourable
Term lengthWhile leader of the largest party not in government
Inaugural holderAlexander Mackenzie
FormationMarch 6, 1873
Succession14th in order of precedence
DeputyCandice Bergen
SalaryCA$269,800 (2020)[1]
St Edward's Crown with maple leaves.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Government (structure)
Flag of Canada.svg
 Canada portal

The leader of the Official Opposition (French: chef de l'Opposition officielle), formally known as the leader of Her 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 of Canada that is not the governing party or part of the governing coalition. The current Opposition leader is Erin O'Toole, who took office following his election as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada on August 24, 2020.

Though the leader of the Opposition must be a member of the House of Commons,[2] the office should not be confused with the leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, which is the formal title of the opposition house leader. 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 takes the role of acting leader of the Opposition until the party leader can obtain a seat. Nine of officeholders have only served as an acting leader of the Opposition, including Deborah Grey (the first of three women to hold the position: Grey, Nycole Turmel and Rona Ambrose).

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 Queen's Privy Council, generally the only non-government member of the House of Commons afforded that privilege. He or she 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.

Two leaders of the Opposition have died in office: Wilfrid Laurier in 1919 and Jack Layton in 2011.[3]

Leaders of the Official Opposition

Leader of the Opposition Party Took office[4] Left office[4] Prime Minister
Alexander Mackenzie-portrait.jpg
Alexander Mackenzie
1st time
Liberal March 6, 1873 November 5, 1873     John A. Macdonald
Brady-Handy John A Macdonald - cropped.jpg
John A. Macdonald Liberal-Conservative November 6, 1873 October 16, 1878 Alexander Mackenzie
Alexander Mackenzie-portrait.jpg
Alexander Mackenzie
2nd time
Liberal October 17, 1878 April 27, 1880 John A. Macdonald
vacant Liberal April 28, 1880 May 3, 1880
Edward Blake.jpg
Edward Blake Liberal May 4, 1880 June 2, 1887
vacant Liberal June 3, 1887 June 22, 1887
Laurier in 1906.jpg
Wilfrid Laurier
1st time
Liberal June 23, 1887 July 10, 1896
John Abbott
John Sparrow David Thompson
Mackenzie Bowell
Charles Tupper
Tupper Portrait.jpg
Charles Tupper[NB 1] Conservative (historical) July 11, 1896 February 5, 1901 Wilfrid Laurier
Robert Borden Conservative (historical) February 6, 1901 October 9, 1911
Laurier in 1906.jpg
Wilfrid Laurier
2nd time
Liberal October 10, 1911 February 17, 1919[NB 2] Robert Borden
Daniel Duncan McKenzie (acting)[NB 3] Liberal February 17, 1919 August 7, 1919
Wm Lyon Mackenzie King.jpg
William Lyon Mackenzie King
1st time
Liberal August 7, 1919 December 28, 1921
Arthur Meighen
Former PM Arthur Meighen.jpg
Arthur Meighen[NB 4] Conservative (historical) December 29, 1921 June 28, 1926 William Lyon Mackenzie King
Wm Lyon Mackenzie King.jpg
William Lyon Mackenzie King
2nd time
Liberal June 29, 1926 September 24, 1926 Arthur Meighen
vacant[NB 5] Conservative (historical) September 25, 1926 October 10, 1926 William Lyon Mackenzie King
Hugh Guthrie.png
Hugh Guthrie[NB 6] Conservative (historical) October 11, 1926 October 11, 1927
Richard Bedford Bennett.jpg
Richard Bedford Bennett
1st time
Conservative (historical) October 12, 1927 August 6, 1930
Wm Lyon Mackenzie King.jpg
William Lyon Mackenzie King
3rd time
Liberal August 7, 1930 October 22, 1935 R. B. Bennett
Richard Bedford Bennett.jpg
Richard Bedford Bennett
2nd time
Conservative (historical) October 23, 1935 July 6, 1938 William Lyon Mackenzie King
Robert Manion.jpg
Robert Manion Conservative (historical) July 7, 1938 May 13, 1940
Richard Hanson 1940.jpg
Richard Hanson[NB 7] Conservative (historical), then
Progressive Conservative[NB 8]
May 14, 1940 January 1, 1943
No image.svg
Gordon Graydon[NB 9] Progressive Conservative January 1, 1943 June 10, 1945
John Bracken circa 1941.jpg
John Bracken Progressive Conservative June 11, 1945 July 20, 1948
vacant Progressive Conservative July 21, 1948 October 1, 1948
George A. Drew
1st time
Progressive Conservative October 2, 1948 November 1, 1954
Louis St. Laurent
No image.svg
William Earl Rowe (acting)[NB 10]
1st time
Progressive Conservative November 1, 1954 February 1, 1955
George A. Drew
2nd time
Progressive Conservative February 1, 1955 August 1, 1956
No image.svg
William Earl Rowe
2nd time
Progressive Conservative August 1, 1956 December 13, 1956
John G. Diefenbaker.jpg
John George Diefenbaker
1st time
Progressive Conservative December 14, 1956 June 20, 1957
Louis St. Laurent Liberal June 21, 1957 January 15, 1958 John Diefenbaker
Lester B. Pearson with a pencil.jpg
Lester B. Pearson Liberal January 16, 1958 April 21, 1963
John G. Diefenbaker.jpg
John George Diefenbaker
2nd time
Progressive Conservative April 22, 1963 September 8, 1967 Lester B. Pearson
Michael Starr[NB 11] Progressive Conservative September 9, 1967 November 5, 1967
Robert Stanfield Progressive Conservative November 6, 1967 February 21, 1976
Pierre Trudeau
Joe Clark
1st time
Progressive Conservative February 22, 1976 June 3, 1979
Pierre Elliot Trudeau-2.jpg
Pierre Elliott Trudeau Liberal June 4, 1979 March 2, 1980 Joe Clark
Joe Clark
2nd time
Progressive Conservative March 3, 1980 February 1, 1983 Pierre Trudeau
No image.svg
Erik Nielsen[NB 12] Progressive Conservative February 2, 1983 August 28, 1983
Brian Mulroney Progressive Conservative August 29, 1983 September 16, 1984
John Turner
John Turner by Gage Skidmore.jpg
John Turner Liberal September 17, 1984 February 7, 1990 Brian Mulroney
Herb Gray 2008.jpg
Herb Gray (acting)[NB 13] Liberal February 8, 1990 December 20, 1990
Jean Chrétien 2010.jpg
Jean Chrétien Liberal December 21, 1990 October 24, 1993
Kim Campbell
Lucien Bouchard 2009.png
Lucien Bouchard Bloc Québécois October 25, 1993 January 14, 1996 Jean Chrétien
Gilles Duceppe2.jpg
Gilles Duceppe[NB 14]
1st time
Bloc Québécois January 15, 1996 February 16, 1996
Michel Gauthier (cropped).jpg
Michel Gauthier Bloc Québécois February 17, 1996 March 14, 1997
Gilles Duceppe2.jpg
Gilles Duceppe
2nd time
Bloc Québécois March 15, 1997 June 1, 1997
Preston Manning in 2004.jpg
Preston Manning Reform June 2, 1997 March 26, 2000
Deborah Grey.jpg
Deborah Grey[NB 15] Canadian Alliance March 27, 2000 September 10, 2000
Stockwell Day (infobox crop).jpg
Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance September 11, 2000 December 11, 2001
John Reynolds[NB 16] Canadian Alliance December 12, 2001 May 20, 2002
Stephen Harper by Remy Steinegger.jpg
Stephen Harper
1st time
Canadian Alliance May 21, 2002 January 8, 2004
Paul Martin
No image.svg
Grant Hill[NB 17] Canadian Alliance January 9, 2004 February 1, 2004
Conservative February 2, 2004[NB 18] March 19, 2004
Stephen Harper by Remy Steinegger.jpg
Stephen Harper
2nd time
Conservative March 20, 2004 February 5, 2006
Bill Graham by Rod Brito.jpg
Bill Graham[NB 19] Liberal February 6, 2006 December 1, 2006 Stephen Harper
Stéphane Dion.jpg
Stéphane Dion Liberal December 2, 2006 December 9, 2008
Victoria, BC Liberal Town Hall Forum public libéral.jpg
Michael Ignatieff[NB 20] Liberal December 10, 2008 May 1, 2011
Jack Layton - 2011.jpg
Jack Layton New Democratic May 2, 2011 August 22, 2011[NB 2]
Nycole Turmel.png
Nycole Turmel[NB 21] New Democratic August 23, 2011 March 23, 2012
Thomas Mulcair, Lac des Castors, juin 2012.jpg
Thomas Mulcair New Democratic March 24, 2012 November 4, 2015
Rona Ambrose - 2017 (35750557332) (cropped).jpg
Rona Ambrose[NB 22] Conservative November 5, 2015 May 27, 2017 Justin Trudeau
Andrew Scheer 2019 (3x4 cropped).jpg
Andrew Scheer Conservative May 27, 2017 August 24, 2020
Erin O'Toole.jpg
Erin O'Toole Conservative August 24, 2020 Incumbent

Deputy leaders of the Opposition

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Took office Left office Leader
Denis Lebel[5] November 19, 2015 July 23, 2017 Rona Ambrose
Lisa Raitt[6] July 24, 2017 October 21, 2019 Andrew Scheer
Leona Alleslev[7] November 28, 2019 July 12, 2020 Andrew Scheer
Candice Bergen[8][9] September 2, 2020 Incumbent Erin O'Toole

Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet

The Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet in Canada is composed of members of the main opposition party, Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, 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


  1. ^ Tupper lost his seat in the 1900 election and resigned as party leader and Leader of the Opposition three months later.
  2. ^ a b 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. ^ Starr served as Leader of the Opposition from Stanfield's election as PC leader until Stanfield entered Parliament via by-election.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Gray served as parliamentary leader of the Liberal Party from John Turner's announcement that he would be stepping down through Chrétien's election as Liberal leader and until Chrétien entered Parliament via by-election.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Reynolds served as Leader of the Opposition during the 2002 Canadian Alliance leadership campaign in which Day unsuccessfully ran to succeed himself. He continued as Leader of the Opposition from Harper's election as Alliance leader until Harper entered Parliament via by-election.
  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, 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. ^ 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.
  22. ^ 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.


  1. ^ "Indemnities, Salaries and Allowances". Parliament of Canada. Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  2. ^ Role of Opposition Parties in Canada, Compendium of Procedure, House of Commons of Canada.
  3. ^ McGregor, Janyce (August 22, 2011). "Parliament and Layton's passing". CBC News. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Parliament of Canada. "Leaders of the Official Opposition". Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  5. ^ "Roles - Hon. Denis Lebel". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  6. ^ "Roles - Hon. Lisa Raitt". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  7. ^ Jones, Ryan Patrick (13 July 2020). "Leona Alleslev steps down as Conservative deputy leader, backs MacKay's leadership bid". CBC News. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Roles - Hon. Candice Bergen". Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  9. ^ "O'Toole names top Tories for Commons roles, with Bergen as deputy leader". Kamloops This Week. Retrieved 2020-09-02.

This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 19:03
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