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Leader of the Official Opposition

The Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition is the leader of the party with the second greatest number of seats in the House of Commons. Their task is to keep the government of the day responsible by asking questions of cabinet members of their latest program initiatives. The Leader of the Official Opposition is 8th on the Canadian Order of Precedence.



The party with the greatest number of elected representatives outside the governing party becomes Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. This party takes the lead in holding the Government accountable for its policies and actions. The leader of this party becomes the Leader of the Official Opposition, sitting directly across from the Prime Minister in the House of Commons. The duty of the Official Opposition and other opposition parties is to "oppose," criticizing government policies and suggesting improvements, and presenting an alternative to the current Government's policy agenda.

Opposition members have various opportunities to influence the formulation of laws and policies including the daily Question Period in the House of Commons. The opposition is allocated 20 "Opposition Days" or "Supply Days" each calendar year, during which it can propose a motion for debate in the House of Commons and criticize the Government on issues of broad national policy. Members of opposition parties also serve on parliamentary committees in both the Senate and the House of Commons.

Twice at the provincial level, there has been no official opposition. The elections in Prince Edward Island in 1935 and New Brunswick in 1987 brought only one party to their respective legislatures. This situation has never occurred in the House of Commons.

The Honourable Rona Ambrose

The Honourable Rona Ambrose
The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Rona Ambrose is interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Ms. Ambrose is the Conservative MP for the new riding of Sturgeon River-Parkland. She was first elected as a Member of Parliament for Edmonton–Spruce Grove in 2004.

During our Conservative Party’s time in government, Ms. Ambrose held several cabinet positions including Environment, Intergovernmental Affairs, Western Economic Diversification, Labour, Public Works and Government Services Canada, Receiver General, Status of Women, and Health.

Ms. Ambrose holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta.

SOURCES: Library of Parliament, Conservative Party of Canada.

See also
House of Commons
Speaker of the House of Commons
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Former Leaders of the Official Opposition

Copyright Craig I.W. Marlatt