House of Commons of Canada

lower house of the Canadian Parliament

The House of Commons (French: Chambre des communes) is the lower house of the Parliament of Canada. 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.

House of Commons of Canada

Chambre des communes du Canada
43rd Parliament
Anthony Rota, Liberal
since December 5, 2019
Justin Trudeau, Liberal
since November 4, 2015
Pierre Poilievre, Conservative
since September 10, 2022
Pablo Rodríguez, Liberal
since November 20, 2019
Gérard Deltell, Conservative
since September 2, 2020
Political groups
Her Majesty's Government
  •   Liberal (155)

Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition

Parties with official status

Parties without official status

SalaryCA$182,600.00 (sessional indemnity effective April 1, 2020)[1]
Last election
October 21, 2019
Next election
On or before October 16, 2023
Meeting place
The House of Commons sits in the West Block in Ottawa
House of Commons Chamber
West Block - Parliament Hill
Ottawa, Ontario

The House of Commons was established in 1867, when the British North America Act 1867 [2] 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.[2]

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 distribution


The table below shows how many seats each political party has in the Parliament. Many of the MPs were elected in the 2019 election.

Party[3] Seats %
  Liberal 155 45.9
  Conservative 121 35.8
Bloc Québécois 32 9.5
New Democratic New Democratic 24 7.1
  Green 3 0.9
  Independent 3 0.9
 Total 338 100%

List of committees

  • 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. "Indemnities, Salaries and Allowances". Parlinfo. Parliament of Canada. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "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.
  3. "Party Standings in the House of Commons". Archived from the original on May 2, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2019.