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Leaders of the Official Opposition

In the First Parliament, following the general election of 1867, the Members who sat in the House opposite the government of Sir John A. Macdonald did not constitute a party but a coalition of various interests, just as the government did. A number of historians state that John Sandfield Macdonald (Reform Member for Cornwall and the first Premier of Ontario), who had campaigned in alliance with Sir John A. Macdonald in the general election, was appointed Leader of the Opposition by the government.

Other historians hold that Alexander Mackenzie (Lambton) was not formally appointed Leader of the Opposition until March 6, 1873, when he assumed the leadership of the Liberal Party, he was de facto Leader of the Opposition as early as 1869.

(See; Buckingham, W. and Ross, G.W., The Hon. Alexander Mackenzie: His Life and Times, 5th ed., Toronto: Rose Publishing Company (Limited), 1892, pp. 242, 254, 329; 
Courtney, J.C., “Party Leadership Selection in the New Dominion”, Canadian Political Party Systems: A Reader, edited by R.K. Carty, Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 1992, p. 108; 
Creighton, D., John A. Macdonald: The Old Chieftain, Toronto: The Macmillan Company of Canada Limited, 1955, p. 4; 
Schull, J., Edward Blake: The Man of the Other Way (1833-1881), Vol. I, Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1975, p. 46; 
Thomson, D.C., Alexander Mackenzie: Clear Grit, Toronto: The Macmillan Company of Canada Limited, 1960, p. 103).
 
Source: House of Commons Procedure and Practice - Second Edition, 2009 

 

Picture Name Political Affiliation Term
Ambrose, Rona Ambrose, Rona Conservative Party of Canada 2015-11-05 - 2017-05-26
Bennett, Richard Bedford Bennett, Richard Bedford Conservative (1867-1942) 1927-10-12 - 1930-08-06
1935-10-23 - 1938-07-06
Blake, Edward Blake, Edward Liberal Party of Canada 1880-05-04 - 1887-06-02
Borden, Robert Laird Borden, Robert Laird Conservative (1867-1942) 1901-02-06 - 1911-10-09
Bouchard, Lucien Bouchard, Lucien Bloc Québécois 1993-10-25 - 1996-01-14
Bracken, John Bracken, John Progressive Conservative Party 1945-06-11 - 1948-07-20
Chrétien, Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien, Joseph Jacques Jean Liberal Party of Canada 1990-12-21 - 1993-10-24
Clark, Charles Joseph Clark, Charles Joseph Progressive Conservative Party
1976-02-22 - 1979-06-03
1980-03-03 - 1983-02-01
Day, Stockwell Burt Day, Stockwell Burt Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance 2000-09-11 - 2001-12-11
Diefenbaker, John George Diefenbaker, John George Progressive Conservative Party
1956-12-14 - 1957-06-20
1963-04-22 - 1967-09-08
Dion, Stéphane Dion, Stéphane Liberal Party of Canada 2006-12-02 - 2008-12-09
Drew, George Alexander Drew, George Alexander Progressive Conservative Party 1948-10-02 - 1954-11-01
1955-02-01 - 1956-08-01
Duceppe, Gilles Duceppe, Gilles Bloc Québécois
1996-01-15 - 1996-02-16
1997-03-15 - 1997-06-01
Gauthier, Michel Gauthier, Michel Bloc Québécois 1996-02-17 - 1997-03-14
Graham, Bill Graham, Bill Liberal Party of Canada 2006-02-06 - 2006-12-01
Gray, Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray, Herbert Eser (Herb) Liberal Party of Canada 1990-02-08 - 1990-12-20
Graydon, Gordon Graydon, Gordon National Government 1943-01-01 - 1945-06-10
Grey, Deborah C. Grey, Deborah C. Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance
2000-03-27 - 2000-07-07
2000-07-08 - 2000-09-10
Guthrie, Hugh Guthrie, Hugh Conservative (1867-1942) 1926-10-11 - 1927-10-11
Hanson, Richard Burpee Hanson, Richard Burpee National Government 1940-05-14 - 1943-01-01
Harper, Stephen Harper, Stephen Conservative Party of Canada (2003-12-23 - 2016-08-26)
Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance (2002-05-13 - 2003-12-22)
2002-05-21 - 2004-01-08
2004-03-20 - 2006-02-05
Hill, Grant Hill, Grant Conservative Party of Canada (2004-02-02 - 2004-06-27)
Progressive Conservative Party (2003-12-12 - 2004-02-01)
2004-01-09 - 2004-02-01
2004-02-02 - 2004-03-19
Ignatieff, Michael Ignatieff, Michael Liberal Party of Canada 2008-12-10 - 2011-05-01
King, William Lyon Mackenzie King, William Lyon Mackenzie Liberal Party of Canada 1919-08-07 - 1921-12-05
1926-06-29 - 1926-09-24
1930-08-07 - 1935-10-22
Laurier, Wilfrid Laurier, Wilfrid Liberal Party of Canada (1874-01-22 - 1917-12-16)
Opposition (1917-12-17 - 1919-02-17)
1887-06-23 - 1896-07-10
1911-10-10 - 1919-02-17
Layton, Jack Layton, Jack New Democratic Party 2011-05-02 - 2011-08-22
Macdonald, John Alexander Macdonald, John Alexander Liberal-Conservative 1873-11-06 - 1878-10-16
Mackenzie, Alexander Mackenzie, Alexander Liberal Party of Canada 1873-03-06 - 1873-11-05
1878-10-17 - 1880-04-27
Manion, Robert James Manion, Robert James Conservative (1867-1942) 1938-07-07 - 1940-05-13
Manning, Ernest Preston Manning, Ernest Preston Reform Party of Canada 1997-06-02 - 2000-03-26
McKenzie, Daniel Duncan McKenzie, Daniel Duncan Opposition
1919-02-17 - 1919-08-07
Meighen, Arthur Meighen, Arthur Conservative (1867-1942) 1921-12-29 - 1926-06-28
Mulcair, Thomas J. Mulcair, Thomas J. New Democratic Party 2012-03-24 - 2015-10-18
Mulroney, Martin Brian Mulroney, Martin Brian Progressive Conservative Party 1983-08-29 - 1984-09-16
Nielsen, Erik Nielsen, Erik Progressive Conservative Party 1983-02-02 - 1983-08-28
Pearson, Lester Bowles Pearson, Lester Bowles Liberal Party of Canada 1958-01-16 - 1963-04-21
Reynolds, John Douglas Reynolds, John Douglas Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance 2001-12-12 - 2002-05-20
Rowe, William Earl Rowe, William Earl Progressive Conservative Party
1954-11-01 - 1955-02-01
1956-08-01 - 1956-12-13
Scheer, Andrew Scheer, Andrew Conservative Party of Canada 2017-05-27 -  
St-Laurent, Louis Stephen St-Laurent, Louis Stephen Liberal Party of Canada 1957-06-21 - 1958-01-15
Stanfield, Robert Lorne Stanfield, Robert Lorne Progressive Conservative Party 1967-11-06 - 1976-02-21
Starr, Michael Starr, Michael Progressive Conservative Party 1967-09-09 - 1967-11-05
Trudeau, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Pierre Elliott Liberal Party of Canada 1979-06-04 - 1980-03-02
Tupper, Charles Tupper, Charles Conservative (1867-1942) 1896-07-11 - 1901-02-05
Turmel, Nycole Turmel, Nycole New Democratic Party 2011-08-23 - 2012-03-23
Turner, John Napier Turner, John Napier Liberal Party of Canada 1984-09-17 - 1990-02-07