Her Majesty's official opposition in Canada is usually the largest political party or coalition which is not a member of the government. This is usually the second-largest party in a legislative house, although in certain unusual circumstances it may be a third or fourth party.
The current official opposition is the Conservative Party of Canada.
They are viewed as the party tasked with keeping the government in check. They are also generally viewed as the alternative government. The Official Opposition maintains a shadow cabinet of MPs that have the same portfolios as actual ministers.
There are some official benefits to being official oppostion. It is the party that gets to speak first after the government, and gets more time in question period than any other party. It also gets more funding for research and staff than other parties.
The leader of the Opposition party is called the "Leader of the Opposition" and is given an official residence in Ottawa.
Below is a list of leaders of Her Majesty's official opposition in Canada.
|3.||Sir John A. Macdonald||Conservative||1874-1878|
|Alexander Mackenzie (2nd time)||Liberal||1878-1880|
|5.||Sir Wilfrid Laurier||Liberal||1887-1896|
|6.||Sir Charles Tupper||Conservative||1896-1901|
|7.||Sir Robert Borden||Conservative||1901-1911|
|Sir Wilfrid Laurier (2nd time)||Liberal||1911-1919|
|*||Daniel D. McKenzie (acting)||Liberal||1919|
|8.||W. L. Mackenzie King||Liberal||1919-1921|
|11.||R. B. Bennett||Conservative||1927-1930|
|W. L. Mackenzie King (2nd time)||Liberal||1930-1935|
|R. B. Bennett (2nd time)||Conservative||1935-1938|
|12.||R. J. Manion||Conservative||1938-1940|
|13.||R. B. Hanson||Conservative||1940-1943|
|*||Gordon Graydon (acting)||Conservative||1943-1945 Bracken not yet elected to Parliament|
|14.||John Bracken||[[Progressive Conservative Party of Canada|Progressive Conservative]]||1945-1948|
|15.||George A. Drew||Progressive Conservative||1948-1956|
|*||William Earl Rowe (acting)|
|16.||John G. Diefenbaker||Progressive Conservative||1956-1957|
|17.||Louis St. Laurent||Liberal||1957-1958|
|18.||Lester B. Pearson||Liberal||1958-1963|
|John G. Diefenbaker (2nd time)||Progressive Conservative||1963-1967|
|*||Michael Starr (acting)||Progressive Conservative||1967 Stanfield not yet elected to Parliament|
|19.||Robert L. Stanfield||Progressive Conservative||1967-1976|
|20.||Joe Clark||Progressive Conservative||1976-1979|
|21.||Pierre E. Trudeau||Liberal||1979-1980|
|Joe Clark (2nd time)||Progressive Conservative||1980-1983|
|*||Erik Nielsen (acting)||Progressive Conservative||1983 Mulroney not yet elected to Parliament|
|22.||Brian Mulroney||Progressive Conservative||1983-1984|
|23.||John N. Turner||Liberal||1984-1990||*||Herb Gray (acting)||Liberal||1990 Chrétien not yet elected to Parliament|
|25.||Lucien Bouchard||Bloc Québécois||1993-1996|
|*||Gilles Duceppe (acting)||Bloc Québécois||1996 BQ leadership contest|
|26.||Michel Gauthier||Bloc Québécois||1996-1997|
|27.||Gilles Duceppe||Bloc Québécois||1997|
|28.||E. Preston Manning||Reform||1997-2000|
|*||Deborah Grey (acting)||Canadian Alliance||2000 CA leadership contest|
|29.||Stockwell Day||Canadian Alliance||2000-2002|
|*||John Reynolds (acting)||Canadian Alliance||2002 CA leadership contest|
|30.||Stephen Harper||Canadian Alliance||2002-2004|
|*||Grant Hill (acting)||Conservative||2004 CPC leadership contest|