Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Canada)

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Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Canada)
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|website = }}{{Canadian politics}}In Canada, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate () is the leader of the largest party in the Senate not in government.Even though the position's name is very similar to the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons (the Opposition House Leader), the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate's role is more analogous to the Leader of the Official Opposition because its holder is the leader of the party's Senate caucus. The responsibilities that, in the House of Commons, are done by the house leaders—including day-to-day scheduling of business—are undertaken in the Senate by Government and Opposition deputy leaders and Opposition whips.WEB,weblink Senate of Canada - Fact Sheet - Key roles in the Senate,, November 8, 2012,


Since it is the House of Commons of Canada that determines what party(ies) form government, the size of party caucuses in the Senate bear no relation to which party forms the government side in the Senate and which party forms the opposition. Thus, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate may lead more Senators than the Leader of the Government in the Senate. Since, normally senators have longer tenure than MPs, this is often the case immediately following a change in government, until the new prime minister can appoint more people from their party.The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate is not necessarily from the same party as the opposition in the House of Commons. From 1993 until 2003 the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate was a Progressive Conservative despite the fact the Progressive Conservatives were not the Official Opposition in the House of Commons. The Official Opposition in the Commons; (Bloc Québécois, Reform, Canadian Alliance) did not have Senate representation. This scenario repeated itself following the results of the 2011 election that saw the Liberal Party lose Official Opposition status in the House to the New Democratic Party — since the NDP has no representation in the Senate (and favours abolition of the chamber) the Liberals would form the Official Opposition in the Senate.There are no set rules governing the manner in which the position is filled from within caucuses. When the Conservative Party and its predecessor the Progressive Conservative party have been in opposition, the party's Senate caucus has historically elected its own leader, although as noted by John Williams in a 1956 book on the Conservative party it may choose to follow the wishes of the national leader.John R. Williams, The Conservative Party of Canada 1920 to 1949, Duke University Press, 1956, pg. 193.Senator Jacques Flynn was unopposed in 1967 after being encouraged to seek the position by the then national leader Robert Stanfield.Jacques Flynn, Un Bleu du Québec à Ottawa, Editions Du Septentrion, 1998 pg. 207 However, Senators John Lynch Staunton in 1993Tories get new Senate leader; Toronto Star. Toronto, Ont.: December 15, 1993 and Noël Kinsella in 2004Sean Gordon, Tories elect leader in Senate; National Post, September 30, 2004 were elected by their colleagues over other contenders. In a November 10, 2015 Canadian Press story, Senator Claude Carignan referenced his election to the position of Senate Opposition Leaderweblink Senator Larry Smith was elected Senate Opposition Leader on March 28, 2017, defeating Senators Linda Frum and Stephen Greene in a vote of the Conservative Senate caucusweblink traditional practice of the Liberal party in opposition had been for their national leader to select their leader in the Senate.On the morning of January 29, 2014, Justin Trudeau announced that Liberal Senators would no longer be members of the national Liberal caucus, and wrote to Senate Speaker Noël Kinsella to advise him that "Senators, who were previously members of the Liberal National Parliamentary Caucus, are no longer members of this Caucus, and as such, are independent Senators." (Debates of the Senate, January 29, 2014).When the Senate met in the afternoon, the first order of business was a discussion of that status of the Liberal Senators, and that of their leader.Senator Jim Cowan informed the Senate that the Liberal Senators remained Liberals, and that "when we met this morning following Mr. Trudeau's announcement, my colleagues voted to confirm our leadership team. Accordingly, I will continue to serve as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. Senator Fraser was similarly elected to serve as deputy leader, Senator Munson as our caucus whip and Senator Hubley as deputy whip. As well, Senator Mitchell will continue as chair of our caucus." (Debates of the Senate, January 29, 2014).Following a lengthy discussion, the Senate Speaker ruled that the Liberal Senators met the definition under the Senate rules of being a caucus of at least five Senators of the same political party, that the rules state that the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate is the head of the party other than the government party with the most Senators, and that "as has been indicated by Senator Cowan, he has been elected by his colleagues and, therefore, meets the definition of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate." (Debates of the Senate, January 29, 2014).

{{anchor|List}} List of Leaders of the Opposition in the Senate

{| class="wikitable"!colspan="2"|NameWEB,weblink Political Officers - Senate - Leaders of the Opposition 1867 to Date, Parliament of Canada, !Party!Took Office!Left Office{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Luc Letellier de St-JustLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|July 1, 1867|November 5, 1873{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}Alexander Campbell (Canadian politician)>Alexander CampbellConservative Party of Canada (historical)>Conservative|November 7, 1873|October 8, 1878{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Sir Richard William ScottLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|October 8, 1878|April 27, 1896{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}|Sir Mackenzie BowellConservative Party of Canada (historical)>Conservative|April 27, 1896|March 1, 1906{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}|Sir James Alexander LougheedConservative Party of Canada (historical)>Conservative|April 1, 1906|October 6, 1911{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Sir Richard John CartwrightLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|October 6, 1911|September 24, 1912{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Sir George William RossLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|September 24, 1912|March 7, 1914{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Hewitt BostockLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|March 19, 1914|January 1, 1919{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Raoul DandurandLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|January 1, 1919|December 31, 1919{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Hewitt Bostock (2nd time)Liberal Party of Canada>Liberal|January 1, 1920|December 28, 1921{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}|Sir James Alexander Lougheed (2nd time)Conservative Party of Canada (historical)>Conservative|December 28, 1921|November 2, 1925{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}|William Benjamin RossConservative Party of Canada (historical)>Conservative|January 1, 1926|June 28, 1926{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Raoul Dandurand (2nd time)Liberal Party of Canada>Liberal|June 29, 1926|December 31, 1926{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}|William Benjamin Ross (2nd time)Conservative Party of Canada (historical)>Conservative|December 31, 1926|January 10, 1929{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}|Wellington Bartley WilloughbyConservative Party of Canada (historical)>Conservative|January 11, 1929|August 7, 1930{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Raoul Dandurand (3rd time)Liberal Party of Canada>Liberal|August 7, 1930|October 22, 1935{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}|Arthur MeighenConservative Party of Canada (historical)>Conservative|October 22, 1935|January 16, 1942{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}Charles Colquhoun BallantyneConservative Party of Canada (historical)>Conservative|January 16, 1942|December 10, 1942{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}Progressive Conservative Party of Canada>Progressive Conservative|December 11, 1942|September 11, 1945{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}|John Thomas HaigProgressive Conservative Party of Canada>Progressive Conservative|September 12, 1945|June 20, 1957{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|William Ross MacdonaldLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|June 20, 1957|April 21, 1963{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}|Alfred Johnson BrooksProgressive Conservative Party of Canada>Progressive Conservative|April 22, 1963|October 31, 1967{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}|Jacques FlynnProgressive Conservative Party of Canada>Progressive Conservative|October 31, 1967|June 3, 1979{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Ray PerraultLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|June 3, 1979|March 2, 1980{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}|Jacques Flynn (2nd time)Progressive Conservative Party of Canada>Progressive Conservative|March 3, 1980|September 16, 1984{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Allan MacEachenLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|September 16, 1984|November 30, 1991{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Royce Herbert FrithLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|November 30, 1991|October 25, 1993{{Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row}}John Lynch-StauntonProgressive Conservative Party of Canada>Progressive Conservative|October 25, 1993|February 1, 2004{{Canadian party colour|CA|Conservative|row}}Conservative Party of Canada>Conservative|February 2, 2004|September 30, 2004{{Canadian party colour|CA|Conservative|row}}|Noël A. KinsellaConservative Party of Canada>Conservative|October 1, 2004|February 7, 2006{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Dan HaysLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|February 8, 2006|January 18, 2007{{Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row}}|Céline Hervieux-PayetteLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|January 18, 2007|November 3, 2008{{Canadian party colour|CA|Liberal|row}}Jim CowanLiberal Party of Canada>Liberal|November 3, 2008|January 29, 2014{{Canadian party colour|CA|Senate Liberal|row}}|Senate Liberal Caucus|January 29, 2014|November 5, 2015{{Canadian party colour|CA|Conservative|row}}|Claude CarignanConservative Party of Canada>Conservative|November 5, 2015|March 31, 2017{{Canadian party colour|CA|Conservative|row}}Larry Smith (Canadian politician)>Larry SmithConservative Party of Canada>Conservative|April 1, 2017|Incumbent

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