House of Commons of Canada

lower house of the Parliament of Canada

The House of Commons of Canada (French: Chambre des communes) is a part of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign (represented by the Governor General) and the Senate. The House of Commons is an elected body, of 338 members, who are known as Members of Parliament (MPs). Members are elected for a maximum of four years at a time. Each member is elected by one of the country's federal electoral districts which are usually called ridings.

The House of Commons was established in 1867, when the British North America Act 1867 [1] created the Dominion of Canada, and was modelled on the British House of Commons. The House of Commons is sometimes called the "lower house", even though it has more power than the "upper house", the Senate. Both Houses is must agree to new laws but the Senate very rarely rejects bills passed by the Commons (though the Senate does occasionally amend bills). The Government of Canada is responsible only to the House of Commons. The Prime Minister stays in office only as long as he or she has the support of the Lower House.

The Canadian House of Commons is in the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Ontario.

Unlike the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the powers of the Parliament of Canada are limited, because provincial legislatures have the sole right to pass laws about some things.

Until 1982 only the Parliament of the United Kingdom had the power to change the British North America Act, this was to protect the rights and powers of the provincial legislatures. This was changed by the Canada Act. In Canada the British North America Act is now called the Constitution Act.[1]

A lot of the work of the House of Commons is done by committees which can spend more time investigating a subject than the whole House of Commons could

Seat distributionEdit

The following tables show how many seats each political party has in the Parliament. Many of the MPs were elected in the 2015 elections but some were elected in by-elections.

Party[2] Seats %
  Liberal 177 52.4
  Conservative 97 28.7
     New Democratic 41 12.1
Bloc Québécois 10 3.0
  Green 2 0.6
  Co-operative Commonwealth Federation[a] 1 0.3
  People's Party of Canada 1 0.3
  Independent 7 2.1
Vacant 2 0.6
 Total 338 100%
  1. Erin Weir was removed from the NDP. Because of this, he changed the party he belonged to to the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. This party doesn't exist anymore and he is not an actual member of the party.[3]

List of committeesEdit

  • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
  • Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food
  • Canadian Heritage
  • Citizenship and Immigration
  • Environment and Sustainable Development
  • Finance
  • Fisheries and Oceans
  • Foreign Affairs and International Development
  • Government Operations and Estimates
  • Health
  • Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
  • Industry, Science and Technology
  • International Trade
  • Justice and Human Rights
  • Liaison Committee
  • National Defence
  • Natural Resources
  • Official Languages
  • Procedure and House Affairs
  • Public Accounts
  • Public Safety and National Security
  • Status of Women
  • Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
  • Veterans Affairs


  1. 1.0 1.1 "The British North America Act, 1867 c.3". Retrieved 2007-09-03. An Act for the Union of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, and the Government thereof; and for Purposes connected therewith.
  2. "Party Standings in the House of Commons". Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  3. Marotta, Stefanie (May 11, 2018). "Erin Weir declares himself a member of the CCF - a party that no longer exists". CBC News. Retrieved May 18, 2018.