Appendix 8 Party Leaders in the House of Commons Since 1867

By tradition, leaders of political parties are expected to have a seat or to seek a seat in the House of Commons as soon as possible. In those instances where a party leader is not a Member of the House, the party usually chooses one of its elected Members to act as the leader of the party in the House. Parties and party leaders play a significant role in the proceedings of the House. Some statutes require that the government consult with the Leader of the Opposition, as well as with other party leaders, when certain actions are contemplated or prior to making certain appointments. The Standing Orders of the House of Commons provide an opportunity for opposition parties to respond to Ministers’ statements, to propose motions on allotted or opposition days and to participate in the leadership of the standing committees. The leader of a recognized party usually sits in the front row in the Chamber. The party leaders listed below are those who, since Confederation, have officially represented their parties in the House.

Parliament Party Leaders
1st (1867–72)
Liberal-Conservative1
Sir John A. Macdonald2
2nd (1873–74)
Liberal-Conservative
Liberal
Sir John A. Macdonald
Alexander Mackenzie
3rd (1874–78)
Liberal
Liberal-Conservative
Alexander Mackenzie
Sir John A. Macdonald
4th (1879–82)
Liberal-Conservative
Liberal
Sir John A. Macdonald
Alexander Mackenzie/Edward Blake
5th (1883–87)
Liberal-Conservative
Liberal
Sir John A. Macdonald
Edward Blake
6th (1887–91)
Liberal-Conservative
Liberal
Sir John A. Macdonald
Edward Blake/Wilfrid Laurier
7th (1891–96)
Liberal-Conservative
Liberal
Sir John A. Macdonald/Sir John Thompson3/Sir Charles Tupper4
Wilfrid Laurier
8th (1896–1900)
Liberal
Liberal-Conservative
Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Sir Charles Tupper
9th (1901–04)
Liberal
Conservative
Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Robert Borden5
10th (1905–08)
Liberal
Conservative
Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Robert Borden
11th (1909–11)
Liberal
Conservative
Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Robert Borden
12th (1911–17)
Conservative
Liberal
Sir Robert Borden6
Sir Wilfrid Laurier
13th (1918–21)
Unionist
Laurier Liberal
Progressive
Sir Robert Borden7/Arthur Meighen
Sir Wilfrid Laurier/Daniel MacKenzie8
T.A. Crerar9
14th (1922–25)
Liberal
Progressive
Liberal-Conservative
Labour
W.L. Mackenzie King
T.A. Crerar/Robert Forke
Arthur Meighen
J.S. Woodsworth
15th (1926)
Liberal
Conservative
Progressive
Labour
W.L. Mackenzie King10
Arthur Meighen11
Robert Forke
J.S. Woodsworth
16th (1926–30)
Liberal
Conservative
Labour
W.L. Mackenzie King
Hugh Guthrie12 /R.B. Bennett
J.S. Woodsworth
17th (1930–35)
Conservative
Liberal
Labour/Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)
R.B. Bennett
W.L. Mackenzie King
J.S. Woodsworth13
18th (1936–40)
Liberal
Conservative
Social Credit
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)
W.L. Mackenzie King
R.B. Bennett/Robert J. Manion
John H. Blackmore
J.S. Woodsworth
19th (1940–45)
Liberal
National Government (Conservative)
New Democracy (Social Credit)
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)
W.L. Mackenzie King
Richard B. Hanson14 /Gordon Graydon
John H. Blackmore/Solon Low
J.S. Woodsworth/M.J. Coldwell15
20th (1945–49)
Liberal
Progressive Conservative
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)
Social Credit
Bloc populaire canadien
W.L. Mackenzie King/Louis St-Laurent
John Bracken/George Drew
M.J. Coldwell
Solon Low
Maxime Raymond
21st (1949–53)
Liberal
Progressive Conservative
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)
Social Credit
Louis St-Laurent
George Drew
M.J. Coldwell
Solon Low
22nd (1953–57)
Liberal
Progressive Conservative
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)
Social Credit
Louis St-Laurent
George Drew16/John Diefenbaker
M.J. Coldwell
Solon Low
23rd (1957–58)
Progressive Conservative
Liberal
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)17
Social Credit
John Diefenbaker
Louis St-Laurent/Lester B. Pearson
M.J. Coldwell
Solon Low
24th (1958–62)
Progressive Conservative
Liberal
Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)
John Diefenbaker
Lester B. Pearson
Hazen Argue18/T.C. Douglas
25th (1962–63)
Progressive Conservative
Liberal
Social Credit
New Democratic Party
John Diefenbaker
Lester B. Pearson
Robert Thompson
T.C. Douglas
26th (1963–65)
Liberal
Progressive Conservative
Ralliement des créditistes
New Democratic Party
Social Credit
Lester B. Pearson
John Diefenbaker
Réal Caouette19
T.C. Douglas
Robert Thompson
27th (1966–68)
Liberal
Progressive Conservative
New Democratic Party
Ralliement des créditistes
Social Credit
Lester B. Pearson/Pierre E. Trudeau
John Diefenbaker/Michael Starr20/ Robert Stanfield
T.C. Douglas
Réal Caouette
Robert Thompson/Alexander Patterson
28th (1968–72)
Liberal
Progressive Conservative
New Democratic Party
Ralliement des créditistes/Social Credit
Pierre E. Trudeau
Robert Stanfield
T.C. Douglas/David Lewis21
Réal Caouette22
29th (1973–74)
Liberal
Progressive Conservative
New Democratic Party
Social Credit
Pierre E. Trudeau
Robert Stanfield
David Lewis
Réal Caouette
30th (1974–79)
Liberal
Progressive Conservative
New Democratic Party
Social Credit
Pierre E. Trudeau
Robert Stanfield/Joseph Clark
Edward Broadbent23
Réal Caouette/André Fortin
31st (1979)
Progressive Conservative
Liberal
New Democratic Party
Social Credit
Joseph Clark
Pierre E. Trudeau
Edward Broadbent
Fabien Roy
32nd (1980–84)
Liberal
Progressive Conservative
New Democratic Party
Pierre E. Trudeau/John Turner
Joseph Clark/Erik Nielsen24/Brian Mulroney
Edward Broadbent
33rd (1984–88)
Progressive Conservative
Liberal
New Democratic Party
Brian Mulroney
John Turner
Edward Broadbent
34th (1988–93)
Progressive Conservative
Liberal
New Democratic Party
Brian Mulroney
John Turner/Jean Chrétien25
Edward Broadbent/Audrey McLaughlin
35th (1994–97)
Liberal
Bloc Québécois
Reform
New Democratic Party
Progressive Conservative
Jean Chrétien
Lucien Bouchard/Michel Gauthier/ Gilles Duceppe
Preston Manning
Audrey McLaughlin
Jean Charest
36th (1997–2000)
Liberal
Reform/Canadian Alliance
Bloc Québécois
New Democratic Party
Progressive Conservative
Jean Chrétien
Preston Manning/Deborah Grey/ Stockwell Day26
Gilles Duceppe
Alexa McDonough
Jean Charest/Elsie Wayne/Joseph Clark27
37th (2001–04)
Liberal
Canadian Alliance/Conservative
Progressive Conservative/Conservative
Bloc Québécois
New Democratic Party
Jean Chrétien/Paul Martin
Stockwell Day/John Reynolds/ Stephen Harper28
Joseph Clark/Peter MacKay/Grant Hill/Stephen Harper29
Gilles Duceppe
Alexa McDonough/Bill Blaikie/Jack Layton30
38th (2004–05)
Liberal
Conservative
Bloc Québécois
New Democratic Party
Paul Martin
Stephen Harper
Gilles Duceppe
Jack Layton
39th (2006–08)
Conservative
Liberal
Bloc Québécois
New Democratic Party
Stephen Harper
Bill Graham/Stéphane Dion31
Gilles Duceppe
Jack Layton
40th (2008–11)
Conservative
Liberal
Bloc Québécois
New Democratic Party
Stephen Harper
Stéphane Dion/Michael Ignatieff32
Gilles Duceppe
Jack Layton
41st (2011–15)
Conservative
New Democratic Party
Liberal
Bloc Québécois
Strength in Democracy
Green Party
Stephen Harper
Jack Layton/Nycole Turmel/Thomas J. Mulcair33
Bob Rae/Justin Trudeau34
Vivian Barbot/Daniel Paillé/Mario Beaulieu/Gilles Duceppe35
Jean-François Fortin36
Elizabeth May
42nd (2015– )
Liberal
Conservative
New Democratic Party
Bloc Québécois
Green Party
Justin Trudeau
Rona Ambrose/Andrew Scheer37
Thomas J. Mulcair38
Rhéal Fortin/Martine Ouellet39
Elizabeth May