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Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

The Senate was created under the Constitution Act, 1867, primarily to protect regional interests but also to provide what George-Etienne Cartier called a "power of resistance to oppose the democratic element."



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 but is most often a Member of the House of Commons. He or she will therefore appoint a Leader of the Official Opposition in the Senate, sitting directly across from the Leader of the Government in the Senate. 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 Senate. The opposition is allocated 20 "Opposition Days" or "Supply Days" each calendar year, during which it can propose a motion for debate in the Senate 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.

The Honourable Larry Smith

Larry Smith is a widely-recognized and respected figure in Quebec. He graduated from Bishop’s University with a bachelor of arts in economics in 1972, and a bachelor of civil law degree from McGill University in 1976. He is well-known in Montreal from his days as a fullback with the Montreal Alouettes from 1972 to 1980, and as President and Chief Executive Officer of the same team from 1997 to 2001 and again since 2004. Working tirelessly to promote professional and amateur football, Mr. Smith also served as Commissioner of the Canadian Football League (CFL) prior to his first term as Alouettes’ President.

The Honourable Larry Smith
The Honourable Larry Smith
Outside of football, Mr. Smith has served on a number of civic charitable boards, including as Co-President of the 2001 Montreal Centraide Campaign and on the board of the Canadian Olympic Committee. He also has extensive experience in the business world, including positions with John Labatt, Ltd., and Ogilvie Mills, Ltd., before becoming CFL Commissioner. In addition he served as president and publisher of The Montreal Gazette in 2002 and 2003.

He has received numerous awards over the course of his careers, including the Commissioner’s Award for outstanding service and dedication in promoting and preserving the CFL (2001), the 1994 American Marketing Association-Toronto chapter Marketer of the Year (consumer products) and Sports Personality of the Year at the Quebec Sports Gala (1998). Mr. Smith was inducted into the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame on September 30th, 2015 under the category of "Builder for Football".

Mr. Smith resides in Hudson, Quebec, with his wife Leesa. They have three children and two grandchildren.

SOURCES: The Senate of Canada and the Liberal Party of Canada.

See also
Former Leaders of the Opposition in the Senate
Speaker of the Senate
Leader of the Government in the Senate

External Links
Parliament of Canada Official Website

Copyright Craig I.W. Marlatt