Member of Parliament (Canada)

Last updated

Member of Parliament
Rosemarie Falk in the House of Commons - 2018 (26120505928).jpg
Members of Parliament debate in the Centre Block in Ottawa
Occupation type
Activity sectors
  • Politics
  • government
Related jobs

A member of Parliament (post-nominal letters: MP; French : député) is a term typically used to describe an elected politician in the House of Commons of Canada, the lower chamber of the bicameral Parliament of Canada.



The term's primary usage is in reference to the elected members of the House of Commons. In legislation, it can also refer to the unelected members of the Senate. In common use, however, the title senator (French: sénateur (masculine), sénatrice (feminine)) is typically used, whereas no such alternate title exists for members of the House of Commons. A less ambiguous term for members of both chambers is parliamentarian. [1]

There are 338 elected MPs, who each represent an individual electoral district, known as a riding. MPs are elected using the first-past-the-post system in a general election or byelection, usually held every four years or less. The 105 members of the Senate are appointed by the Crown on the advice of the prime minister.


As of 2021, the Canadian House of Commons has 338 members, each of whom represents a single riding. Seats are distributed among the provinces in proportion to population, as determined by each decennial census, subject to the following exceptions made by the Constitution of Canada. Firstly, the "Senate floor" guarantees that each province will have at least as many elected MPs as senators. [2] Secondly, the "grandfather clause" guarantees each province has at least as many seats now as it had allocated in the 1985 Representation Act . [2]

Oath and affirmation

The oath for members of Parliament has stood the same since confederation; according to Section IX.128 of the Constitution Act, 1867 : "Every member of the Senate and the House of Commons of Canada shall before taking his Seat therein take and subscribe before the Governor General or some Person authorized by him, and every Member of a Legislative Council or Legislative Assembly of any Province shall before the Lieutenant Governor of the Province or some Person authorized by him, the Oath of Allegiance contained in the Fifth Schedule to the Act." [3] The oath set out in said schedule is: I, [name], do swear, that I will be faithful and bear true Allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, with the further instruction that "the name of the King or Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland for the Time being is to be substituted from Time to Time, with Proper Terms of Reference thereto." The oath reads as follows:

I, [name], do swear, that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles III. [4]

Or in French:

Je, [nom], jure que je serai fidèle et porterai une vraie allégeance à Sa Majesté le Roi Charles III. [5]

For those parliamentarians whose religion prohibits the swearing of oaths, there exists a compromise affirmation, first instituted in 1905:

I, [name], do solemnly, sincerely and truly affirm and declare the taking of an oath is according to my religious belief unlawful, and I do also solemnly, sincerely and truly affirm and declare that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to His Majesty King Charles III. [6]

Number of members

181 MPs were elected at the 1867 Canadian federal election.

308 MPs were elected at the 2011 Canadian federal election.

338 MPs were elected at the 2021 Canadian federal election.


Parliamentarians enjoy parliamentary privilege, as derived from common law. [7]


In 2021, the annual salary of each MP is $189,500. Members may receive additional sums by virtue of other positions or functions they hold, such as that of Speaker of the House or a minister of the Crown. [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oath of office</span> Official promise by a person elected to public office to lawfully fulfill its duties

An oath of office is an oath or affirmation a person takes before assuming the duties of an office, usually a position in government or within a religious body, although such oaths are sometimes required of officers of other organizations. Such oaths are often required by the laws of the state, religious body, or other organization before the person may actually exercise the powers of the office or organization. It may be administered at an inauguration, coronation, enthronement, or other ceremony connected with the taking up of office itself, or it may be administered privately. In some cases it may be administered privately and then repeated during a public ceremony.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">House of Commons of Canada</span> Lower house of the Canadian Parliament

The House of Commons of Canada is the lower house of the Parliament of Canada. Together with the Crown and the Senate of Canada, they comprise the bicameral legislature of Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Parliament of Canada</span> Canadian federal legislature

The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and is composed of three parts: the King, the Senate, and the House of Commons. By constitutional convention, the House of Commons is dominant, with the Senate rarely opposing its will. The Senate reviews legislation from a less partisan standpoint and may initiate certain bills. The monarch or his representative, normally the governor general, provides royal assent to make bills into law.

A member of parliament (MP) is the representative in parliament of the people who live in their electoral district. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this term refers only to members of the lower house since upper house members often have a different title. The terms congressman/congresswoman or deputy are equivalent terms used in other jurisdictions. The term parliamentarian is also sometimes used for members of parliament, but this may also be used to refer to unelected government officials with specific roles in a parliament and other expert advisers on parliamentary procedure such as the Senate parliamentarian in the United States. The term is also used to the characteristic of performing the duties of a member of a legislature, for example: "The two party leaders often disagreed on issues, but both were excellent parliamentarians and cooperated to get many good things done."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oath of allegiance</span> Oath whereby a subject or citizen acknowledges a duty of allegiance and swears loyalty to the state

An oath of allegiance is an oath whereby a subject or citizen acknowledges a duty of allegiance and swears loyalty to a monarch or a country. In modern republics, oaths are sworn to the country in general, or to the country's constitution. For example, officials in the United States, take an oath of office that includes swearing allegiance to the United States Constitution. However, typically in a constitutional monarchy, such as in the United Kingdom, Australia and other Commonwealth realms, oaths are sworn to the monarch. Armed forces typically require a military oath.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Government of Canada</span> Federal government of Canada

The government of Canada is the body responsible for the federal administration of Canada. A constitutional monarchy, the Crown assumes distinct roles: the executive, as the Crown-in-Council; the legislative, as the Crown-in-Parliament; and the judicial, as the Crown-on-the-Bench. Three institutions—the Privy Council, the Parliament, and the judiciary, respectively—exercise the powers of the Crown.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oath of Allegiance (Canada)</span> Promise of fealty to the Canadian monarch

The Canadian Oath of Allegiance is a promise or declaration of fealty to the Canadian monarch—as personification of the Canadian state and its authority, rather than as an individual person—taken, along with other specific oaths of office, by new occupants of various federal and provincial government offices; members of federal, provincial, and municipal police forces; members of the Canadian Armed Forces; and, in some provinces, all lawyers upon admission to the bar. The Oath of Allegiance also makes up the first portion of the Oath of Citizenship, the taking of which is a requirement of obtaining Canadian nationality.

An oath of citizenship is an oath taken by immigrants that officially naturalizes immigrants into citizens. It is often the final step in this process, and is usually done in a ceremonial capacity. An oath of citizenship is designed to be a statement of patriotism and loyalty to the new country. In countries which retain a monarchical system of government, an oath of allegiance to the monarch is often required as well. Adding an oath to God to the end of an oath is usually optional.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oath of Allegiance (United Kingdom)</span> Promise to be loyal to the British monarch

The Oath of Allegiance is a promise to be loyal to the British monarch, and his or her heirs and successors, sworn by certain public servants in the United Kingdom, and also by newly naturalised subjects in citizenship ceremonies. The current standard wording of the oath of allegiance is set out in the Promissory Oaths Act 1868.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oath of Citizenship (Canada)</span>

The Oath of Citizenship, or Citizenship Oath, is a statement recited and signed by those who apply to become citizens of Canada. Administered at a ceremony presided over by a designated official, the oath is a promise or declaration of fealty to the Canadian monarch and a promise to abide by Canada's laws and uphold the duties of a Canadian citizen; upon signing the oath, citizenship is granted to the applicant.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Demise of the Crown</span> British and Commonwealth legal term for transfer of Crown

Demise of the Crown is the legal term in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms for the transfer of the Crown upon the death or abdication of the monarch. The Crown transfers automatically to the monarch's heir. The concept evolved in the kingdom of England, and was continued in Great Britain and then the United Kingdom. The concept also became part of the constitutions of the British colonies, and was continued in the constitutions of the Commonwealth realms, until modified within those realms.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jesse Flis</span> Canadian politician

Jesse Philip Flis is a former Canadian politician. He served in the House of Commons of Canada from 1979 to 1984, and from 1988 to 1997, as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada.

The New Zealand Oath of Allegiance is defined by the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957. All Oaths can be taken in either Māori or English form. It is possible to take an affirmation, which has the same legal effect as an Oath.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monarchy in the Canadian provinces</span> Overview about the presence of monarchy in the Canadian provinces

The monarchy of Canada forms the core of each Canadian provincial jurisdiction's Westminster-style parliamentary democracy, being the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government in each province. The monarchy has been headed since September 8, 2022 by King Charles III who as sovereign is shared equally with both the Commonwealth realms and the Canadian federal entity. He, his consort, and other members of the Canadian royal family undertake various public and private functions across the country. He is the only member of the royal family with any constitutional role.

In Australia, an Oath of Allegiance or an Affirmation of Allegiance are oaths of allegiance required to be made to the monarch of Australia in some situations. Oaths of Allegiance are usually made on a Bible, or some other book holy to the person, such as a Torah or Koran; but the person may opt to make an affirmation in lieu of an oath. This oath is not the same as the Australian Citizenship Pledge which is required to be made when being naturalised as an Australian citizen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monarchy of Barbados</span> Constitutional monarchy as a system of government in Barbados from 1966 to 2021

The monarchy of Barbados was a system of government in which a hereditary monarch was the sovereign and head of state of Barbados from 1966 to 2021. Barbados shared the sovereign with the other Commonwealth realms, with the country's monarchy being separate and legally distinct. The monarch's operational and ceremonial duties were mostly delegated to her representative, the governor-general of Barbados.

In law, an affirmation is a solemn declaration allowed to those who conscientiously object to taking an oath. An affirmation has exactly the same legal effect as an oath but is usually taken to avoid the religious implications of an oath; it is thus legally binding but not considered a religious oath. Some religious adherents hold beliefs that allow them to make legally binding promises but forbid them to swear an oath before a deity. Additionally, an individual may decline making a religious oath due to their personal beliefs, or those of their audience. In some jurisdictions, an affirmation may be given only if such a reason is provided.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Turner Orton</span> Canadian politician

George Turner Orton was a physician and political figure in Ontario, Canada. He represented Wellington Centre in the House of Commons of Canada from 1874 to 1887 as a Liberal-Conservative.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pledge of Loyalty Act 2006</span> New South Wales legislation

The Constitution Amendment (Pledge of Loyalty) Act 2006 No 6, was an Act to amend the Constitution Act 1902 to require Members of the New South Wales Parliament and its Ministers to take a pledge of loyalty to Australia and to the people of New South Wales instead of swearing allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II her heirs and successors, and to revise the oaths taken by Executive Councillors. The Act was assented to by the Queen on 3 April 2006.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Section 128 of the Constitution Act, 1867</span> Provision of the Constitution of Canada

Section 128 of the Constitution Act, 1867 is a provision of the Constitution of Canada relating to the oath of allegiance for members of the Senate and the House of Commons of Canada, as well as members of the provincial legislative assemblies. The section also requires members of the Senate to make a declaration of qualification. The texts of the oath and the declaration of qualification are set out in the Fifth Schedule of the Act. The section also applied to members of the provincial legislative councils, but since they have all been abolished, it no longer has any application in that regard.


  1. Government of Canada, Department of Justice (December 2, 1999). "Legistics - Members of Parliament". Retrieved January 25, 2023.
  2. 1 2 Qualter, Terence H. and John M. Wilson (September 18, 2015). "Redistribution of Federal Electoral Districts | The Canadian Encyclopedia". Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  3. Victoria (July 1, 1867), Constitution Act, 1867, IX.128, Westminster: Parliament of the United Kingdom, retrieved April 1, 2009
  4. Victoria 1867, Fifth Schedule
  5. le Clère, René (Summer 2003), "Serment d'allégeance à la Reine dénaturé par des députés souverainistes du Québec!" (PDF), Canadian Monarchist News, Toronto: Monarchist League of Canada, 7 (4), archived from the original (PDF) on July 8, 2009, retrieved January 13, 2009
  6. Marleau, Robert; Montpetit, Camille (2000), House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada, p. 176
  7. Shaw, McCarthy Tétrault LLP-Byron; Goldenberg, Adam; Azimov, Rauf. "Court of Appeal for Ontario rules that parliamentary privilege prevents Mike Duffy from suing the Senate | Lexology". Retrieved February 27, 2021.
  8. "Indemnities, Salaries and Allowances". Retrieved September 3, 2022.