Past Leaders of Canadian Political Parties

Leaders of Canadian political parties since Confederation (1867).

Leaders of the Old Conservative Parties

The “old” Conservative (or “Tory”) Party that existed in Canada prior its dissolution in 2003 went through three phases, during which it used three different names.

Leaders of the Liberal-Conservative Party

Name
Tenure
John A. Macdonald
Jul 1, 1867 - Jun 6, 1891
John Abbott
Jun 16, 1891 - Nov 24, 1892
John Thompson
Dec 5, 1892 - Dec 12, 1894

Leaders of the Conservative Party

Successor to the Liberal-Conservative Party (1894-1941).

Name
Tenure
Mackenzie Bowell
Dec 21, 1894 - Apr 27, 1896
Charles Tupper
May 1, 1896 - Feb 5, 1901
Robert Borden
Feb 6, 1901 - Jul 9, 1920
Arthur Meighen
Jul 10, 1920 - Sep 24, 1926
Hugh Guthrie
Oct 11, 1926 - Oct 11, 1927
R.B. Bennett
Oct 12, 1927 - Jul 6, 1938
Robert Manion
Jul 7, 1938 - May 13, 1940
Richard Burpee Hanson (acting)
May 14, 1940 - Nov 11, 1941
Meighen (2nd time)
Nov 12, 1941 - Dec 9, 1942

Leaders of the Progressive Conservative Party

Successor to the Conservative Party (1942-2003).

Name
Tenure
John Bracken
Dec 11, 1942 - Jul 20, 1948
George Drew
Oct 2, 1948 - Nov 29, 1956
John Diefenbaker
Dec 14, 1956 - Sep 8, 1967
Robert Stanfield
Sep 9, 1967 - Feb 21, 1976
Joe Clark
Feb 22, 1976 - Jun 10, 1983
Brian Mulroney
Jun 11, 1983 - Jun 12, 1993
Kim Campbell
Jun 12, 1993 - Dec 14, 1993
Jean Charest
Dec 14, 1993 - Apr 2, 1998
Elsie Wayne (acting)
Apr 2, 1998 - Nov 13, 1998
Clark (2nd time)
Nov 14, 1998 - May 30, 2003
Peter MacKay
May 31, 2003 - Feb 1, 2004

Leaders of the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance

Known as the Reform Party of Canada from 1987 to 2000.

Name
Tenure
Preston Manning
Nov 1, 1987 - Mar 26, 2000
Deborah Grey (acting)
Mar 27, 2000 - Jul 7, 2000
Stockwell Day
Jul 8, 2000 - Dec 11, 2001
John Reynolds (acting)
Dec 12, 2001 - Mar 19, 2002
Stephen Harper
Mar 20, 2002 - Jan 21, 2004

Leaders of the Conservative Party of Canada

Created in 2003 through a merger of Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties.

Name
Tenure
John Lynch-Staunton (acting)
Dec 8, 2003 - Mar 19, 2004
Stephen Harper
Mar 20, 2004 - Nov 5, 2015
Rona Ambrose (acting)
Nov 5, 2015 - May 27, 2017
Andrew Scheer
May 27, 2017 -

Leaders of the Liberal Party of Canada

Name
Tenure
None
Jul 1, 1867 - Mar 6, 1873
Alexander Mackenzie
Mar 6, 1873 - Apr 27, 1880
Edward Blake
May 4, 1880 - Jun 2, 1887
Wilfrid Laurier
Jun 23, 1887 - Feb 17, 1919
Daniel Duncan McKenzie (acting)
Feb 17, 1919 - Aug 7, 1919
W.L. Mackenzie King
Aug 7, 1919 - Aug 6, 1948
Louis St. Laurent
Aug 7, 1948 - Jan 15, 1958
Lester Pearson
Jan 16, 1958 - Apr 5, 1968
Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Apr 6, 1968 - Jun 15, 1984
John Turner
Jun 15, 1984 - Jun 22, 1990
Jean Chretien
Jun 23, 1990 - Nov 13, 2003
Paul Martin
Nov 14, 2003 - Mar 19, 2006
Bill Graham (acting)
Mar 20, 2006 - Dec 1, 2006
Stephane Dion
Dec 2, 2006 - Dec 10, 2008
Michael Ignatieff
Dec 10, 2008 - May 19, 2011
Bob Rae (acting)
May 19, 2011 - April 14, 2013
Justin Trudeau
April 14, 2013 -
Note: Officially, there was no formal, organized Liberal party between 1867 and 1873, just a broad coalition of politicians opposed to the government and party of John A. Macdonald.

Leaders of the National Progressive Party

Name
Tenure
T. A. Crerar
1920 - 1922
Robert Forke
1922 - 1926

Leaders of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF)

Name
Tenure
J.S. Woodsworth
Aug 1, 1932 - Mar 21, 1942
M.J. Coldwell
Jul, 1942 - Aug 10, 1960
Hazen Argue
Aug 11, 1960 - Aug 2, 1961

Leaders of the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP)

Successor to the CCF.

Name
Tenure
Tommy Douglas
Aug 3, 1961 - Mar 23, 1971
David Lewis
Mar 24, 1971 - Jul 6, 1975
Ed Broadbent
Jul 7, 1975 - Dec 4, 1989
Audrey McLaughlin
Dec 4, 1989 - Oct 13, 1995
Alexa McDonough
Oct 14, 1995 - Jan 24, 2003
Jack Layton
Jan 25, 2003 - Jul 28, 2011
Nycole Turmel (acting)
Jul 28, 2011 - Mar 24, 2012
Thomas Mulcair
Mar 24, 2012 -

Leaders of the Bloc Quebecois

Name
Tenure
Lucien Bouchard
Jul 25, 1990 - Jan 15, 1996
Gilles Duceppe (acting)
Jan 15, 1996 - Feb 16, 1996
Michel Gauthier
Feb 17, 1996 - Mar 14, 1997
Duceppe (2nd time)
Mar 15, 1997 - Jun 2, 2011
Louis Plamondon (acting)
Jun 2, 2011 - Dec 11, 2011
Daniel Paillé
Dec 11, 2011 - Dec 16, 2013
André Bellavance (acting)
Dec 16, 2013 - Feb 26, 2014
Jean-François Fortin (acting)
Feb 26, 2014 - Jun 14, 2014
Mario Beaulieu
Jun 14, 2014 - Jun 10, 2015
Duceppe (3rd time)
Jun 10, 2015 - Oct 22, 2015
Rhéal Fortin (acting)
Oct 22, 2015 - Mar 18, 2017
Martine Ouellet
Mar 18, 2017 -
Note: The Bloc Quebecois’ leadership system isn’t like that of other parties; when a leader abruptly resigns there is no official person serving as full-time, “acting leader.” The list above considers the floor leaders in the House of Commons to be the interim leaders, other lists sometimes consider the party president in this role.

Leaders of the Social Credit Party

Name
Tenure
John H. Blackmore
1935 - 1944
Solon Earl Low
1944 - 1961
Robert Thompson
1961 - Mar 1967
Alexander Patterson (acting)
1967 - 1968
Party briefly collapsed. As leader of the rebel "Ralliement des Creditistes" faction, Real Caouette was recognized as de facto leader from around 1963 to 1971.
1968-1971
Real Caouette
1971 - 1976
André-Gilles Fortin
1976 - 1977
Gilles Caouette (acting)
1977 - 1978
Charles-Arthur Gauthier
1978
Lorne Reznowski
1978-1979
Gauthier (2nd time, acting)
1979
Fabien Roy
Mar 30, 1979 - Nov 1, 1980
J. Martin Hattersley
Jul 3, 1980 - Jul 14, 1983
Ken Sweigard (acting)
Jul 15, 1983 - Jun 21, 1986
Harvey Lainson
Jun 22, 1986 - Jul 26, 1987
Jim Keegstra (acting)
Jul 27, 1987 - Aug ? 1987
Harvey Lainson (2nd time)
Sep ? 1987 - 1990
Ken Campbell
1990 - 1993

More Information on Canadian Party Leaders