Open main menu

List of Leaders of the Official Opposition (Canada)

This is a List of Canadian Leaders of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition is usually the leader of the party with the second-most seats in the House of Commons of Canada, known as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. He or she is entitled to the same levels of pay and protection as a Cabinet Minister, and is often made a member of the Canadian Privy Council, generally the only non-government member of the House of Commons afforded that privilege.

If the leader of the opposition party is not a Member of Parliament, then a sitting MP takes the role of acting Leader of the Opposition until the party leader can obtain a seat. If there is a leadership race occurring within the party, an MP (usually the interim or outgoing party leader) will serve as Leader of the Opposition until a new party leader is chosen.

The position is currently held by Andrew Scheer, leader of the Conservative Party, having been elected by the Conservative caucus on May 27, 2017.

Nine of the previous officeholders 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).

Two Leaders of the Opposition have died in office: Wilfrid Laurier in 1919 and Jack Layton in 2011.[1]

Contents

Leaders of the OppositionEdit

Leader of the Opposition Party Took Office[2] Left Office[2] Prime Minister
1   Alexander Mackenzie
1st time
Liberal March 1873 November 5, 1873     John A. Macdonald
2   John A. Macdonald Liberal-Conservative November 6, 1873 October 16, 1878 Alexander Mackenzie
(1)   Alexander Mackenzie
2nd time
Liberal October 17, 1878 April 27, 1880 John A. Macdonald
vacant Liberal April 28, 1880 May 3, 1880
3   Edward Blake Liberal May 4, 1880 June 2, 1887
vacant Liberal June 3, 1887 June 22, 1887
4   Wilfrid Laurier
1st time
Liberal June 23, 1887 July 10, 1896
John Abbott
John Sparrow David Thompson
Mackenzie Bowell
Charles Tupper
5   Charles Tupper[NB 1] Conservative (historical) July 11, 1896 February 5, 1901 Wilfrid Laurier
6   Robert Borden Conservative (historical) February 6, 1901 October 9, 1911
(4)   Wilfrid Laurier
2nd time
Liberal October 10, 1911 February 17, 1919[NB 2] Robert Borden
7   Daniel Duncan McKenzie (acting)[NB 3] Liberal February 17, 1919 August 7, 1919
8   William Lyon Mackenzie King
1st time
Liberal August 7, 1919 December 28, 1921
Arthur Meighen
9   Arthur Meighen[NB 4] Conservative (historical) December 29, 1921 June 28, 1926 William Lyon Mackenzie King
(8)   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
10   Hugh Guthrie[NB 6] Conservative (historical) October 11, 1926 October 11, 1927
11   Richard Bedford Bennett
1st time
Conservative (historical) October 12, 1927 August 6, 1930
(8)   William Lyon Mackenzie King
3rd time
Liberal August 7, 1930 October 22, 1935 R. B. Bennett
(11)   Richard Bedford Bennett
2nd time
Conservative (historical) October 23, 1935 July 6, 1938 William Lyon Mackenzie King
12   Robert Manion Conservative (historical) July 7, 1938 May 13, 1940
13   Richard Hanson (acting)[NB 7] Conservative (historical), then
Progressive Conservative[NB 8]
May 14, 1940 1943
14   Gordon Graydon (acting)[NB 9] Progressive Conservative 1943 June 10, 1945
15   John Bracken Progressive Conservative June 11, 1945 July 20, 1948
vacant Progressive Conservative July 21, 1948 October 1, 1948
16   George A. Drew
1st time
Progressive Conservative October 2, 1948 November 1, 1954
Louis St. Laurent
17   William Earl Rowe (acting)[NB 10]
1st time
Progressive Conservative November 1, 1954 February 1, 1955
(16)   George A. Drew
2nd time
Progressive Conservative February 1, 1955 August 1, 1956
(17)   William Earl Rowe (acting)
2nd time
Progressive Conservative August 1, 1956 December 13, 1956
18   John George Diefenbaker
1st time
Progressive Conservative December 14, 1956 June 20, 1957
19   Louis St. Laurent Liberal June 21, 1957 January 15, 1958 John Diefenbaker
20   Lester B. Pearson Liberal January 16, 1958 April 21, 1963
(18)   John George Diefenbaker
2nd time
Progressive Conservative April 22, 1963 September 8, 1967 Lester B. Pearson
21 Michael Starr (acting)[NB 11] Progressive Conservative September 9, 1967 November 5, 1967
22 Robert Stanfield Progressive Conservative November 6, 1967 February 21, 1976
Pierre Trudeau
23   Joe Clark
1st time
Progressive Conservative February 22, 1976 June 3, 1979
24   Pierre Elliott Trudeau Liberal June 4, 1979 March 2, 1980 Joe Clark
(23)   Joe Clark
2nd time
Progressive Conservative March 3, 1980 February 1, 1983 Pierre Trudeau
25   Erik Nielsen (acting)[NB 12] Progressive Conservative February 2, 1983 August 28, 1983
26   Brian Mulroney Progressive Conservative August 29, 1983 September 16, 1984
John Turner
27   John Turner Liberal September 17, 1984 February 7, 1990 Brian Mulroney
28   Herb Gray (acting)[NB 13] Liberal February 8, 1990 December 20, 1990
29   Jean Chrétien Liberal December 21, 1990 October 24, 1993
Kim Campbell
30   Lucien Bouchard Bloc Québécois October 25, 1993 January 14, 1996 Jean Chrétien
31   Gilles Duceppe (acting)[NB 14]
1st time
Bloc Québécois January 15, 1996 February 16, 1996
32   Michel Gauthier Bloc Québécois February 17, 1996 March 14, 1997
(31)   Gilles Duceppe
2nd time
Bloc Québécois March 15, 1997 June 1, 1997
33   Preston Manning Reform June 2, 1997 March 26, 2000
34   Deborah Grey (acting)[NB 15] Canadian Alliance March 27, 2000 September 10, 2000
35   Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance September 11, 2000 December 11, 2001
36   John Reynolds (acting)[NB 16] Canadian Alliance December 12, 2001 May 20, 2002
37   Stephen Harper
1st time
Canadian Alliance May 21, 2002 January 8, 2004
Paul Martin
38   Grant Hill (acting)[NB 17] Canadian Alliance January 9, 2004 February 1, 2004
(38) Conservative February 2, 2004[NB 18] March 19, 2004
(37)   Stephen Harper
2nd time
Conservative March 20, 2004 February 5, 2006
39   Bill Graham[NB 19] Liberal February 6, 2006 December 1, 2006 Stephen Harper
40   Stéphane Dion Liberal December 2, 2006 December 9, 2008
41   Michael Ignatieff[NB 20] Liberal December 10, 2008 May 1, 2011
42   Jack Layton New Democratic May 2, 2011 August 22, 2011[NB 2]
43   Nycole Turmel New Democratic August 23, 2011[NB 21] March 23, 2012
44   Thomas Mulcair New Democratic March 24, 2012 November 4, 2015
45   Rona Ambrose[NB 22] Conservative November 5, 2015 May 27, 2017 Justin Trudeau
46   Andrew Scheer Conservative May 27, 2017 Incumbent

Deputy Leaders of the OppositionEdit

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Took Office Left Office Leader Notes
Unknown Insufficient information
Denis Lebel[3] November 19, 2015 July 23, 2017 Rona Ambrose
Lisa Raitt July 24, 2017 Incumbent Andrew Scheer

NotesEdit

  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 interim 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 interim Leader of the Opposition from shortly after Meighen's resignation until Bennett's election as leader of the Conservative Party.
  7. ^ Hanson served as interim 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 acting 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 acting 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 interim Leader of the Opposition during the 1983 Progressive Conservative leadership campaign in which Clark unsuccessfully ran to succeed himself. Nielsen continued as acting 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 interim 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 interim Leader of the Opposition during the 2000 Canadian Alliance leadership campaign in which Manning unsuccessfully ran to succeed himself. She continued as acting Leader of the Opposition from Day's election as Alliance leader until Day entered Parliament via byelection.
  16. ^ Reynolds served as interim Leader of the Opposition during the 2002 Canadian Alliance leadership campaign in which Day unsuccessfully ran to succeed himself. He continued as acting Leader of the Opposition from Harper's election as Alliance leader until Harper entered Parliament via by-election.
  17. ^ Hill served as interim 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 the Opposition until 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 is elected at the next Conservative Party of Canada leadership election.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ McGregor, Janyce (August 22, 2011). "Parliament and Layton's passing". CBC News. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Parliament of Canada. "Leaders of the Official Opposition". Retrieved March 27, 2012.
  3. ^ "THE HONOURABLE DENIS LEBEL - ROLES - HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA". Retrieved March 4, 2019.

See alsoEdit