Animal Protection Party of Canada

Party Leader: Liz White
Founded: 2005
Number of Seats: Zero

The Animal Protection Party of Canada began as the not-for-profit organization Animal Alliance of Canada in 1990 working to change legislation. It gained official federal party status in 2005 due to a change in electoral policy in 2003/04.

Leader Liz White has worked for decades as a community activist on behalf of animals and the environment as well as indigenous land settlements and the disadvantaged.

The party advocates for a healthy planet and for people to coexist and thrive with animals and the environment. The party focuses on rethinking how people live on our planet.

The party has failed to gain a seat in the House of Commons.

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Bloc Québécois

Party Leader: Yves-François Blanchet
Founded: June 15, 1991
Number of Seats: 32

In 1991, Quebec Members of Parliament from the Progressive Conservative and Liberal parties joined together to create the Bloc Quebecois with the mandate to promote Quebec sovereignty.

Lucien Bouchard, who had been in Brian Mulroney’s cabinet, led the party to an early victory in the 1993 federal election winning 54 of 75 seats in Quebec, becoming the official opposition in the House of Commons. Bouchard announced then that his caucus would speak only French in the chamber, a tradition that continues today.

When the 1995 referendum on Quebec sovereignty failed to establish Quebec’s independence, Bouchard left federal politics and Michel Gauthier became the new leader of the Bloc from 1996 to 1997.

Under Gilles Duceppe, The Bloc’s seats dropped, first to 44 and then 38 at the next two federal elections, in 1997 and 2000.

Fortunes began to change for the Bloc in part due to the uncovering of the sponsorship scandal by the Auditor General of Canada which showed illegal national spending by the Liberals in Quebec in support of Canadian nationalism.

In the election a few months later, the Bloc won 54 seats in the election two years later in 2006, and 49 in 2008.

In the 2011 election, still under the leadership of Duceppe, the Bloc won just 4 seats and lost its official party status (12 are required).

Leadership elections in 2011 and 2014 saw Daniel Paille and then Mario Beaulieu chosen as leaders until Gilles Duceppe returned in 2015 to lead the party in the election that year.

Duceppe helped the party win 10 seats, more than the party had before the election, but fewer than it hoped to gain. The share of the popular vote was the lowest it had ever achieved.

Martine Ouellet was elected as new leader in 2017 but in 2018 several Bloc MPs left the caucus citing issues with her leadership. She resigned in 2018. Yves-Francois Blanchet was named leader in early 2019. With Blanchet as leader, the party won 32 seats in the 2019 election.

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Canada's Fourth Front

Party Leader: Partap Dua
Founded: September 20, 2019
Number of Seats: Zero

The party was formed in 2019 to offer an alternative to the major Canadian political parties.

Founder and leader, Partap Dua ran previously in the 2006 federal election as an independent and then unsuccessfully ran for the Conservative nomination for the 2008 election. He has also run in three mayoral races in Markham.

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Canadian Nationalist Party

Party Leader: Travis M. Patron
Founded: June 1, 2017
Number of Seats: Zero

The party was founded in 2017 and ran three candidates in the 2019 election, but none were elected.

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Christian Heritage Party of Canada

Party Leader: Rod Taylor
Founded: 1987
Number of Seats: Zero

The Christian Heritage Party of Canada, referred to as CHP Canada, is a social and fiscal conservative party, advocating for Christian principles in government.

The Christian Heritage Party ran candidates in federal elections beginning in 1988. In each election since, the party has fielded between 30 and 63 candidates under five different leaders.

Rod Taylor is the current leader. The party has not won a seat in the House of Commons.

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Communist Party of Canada

Party Leader: Elizabeth Rowley
Founded: May, 1921
Number of Seats: Zero

The Communist Party formed in 1921 as an illegal party due to its activist and revolution-inspired nature. It has continued over the decades as a party focused on labour rights and support of socialism. It is the second oldest active party since the Liberal Party of Canada.

The Communist Party has had candidates in many elections over its history but secured only one seat at the federal level in the 1945 election.

Since 2016, Elizabeth Rowley is the party’s current leader.

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Conservative Party of Canada

Party Leader: Erin O'Toole
Founded: December 7, 2003
Number of Seats: 119

In 2003, two parties joined to form the Conservative Party of Canada which has existed in some form since Confederation.

Notable past Conservative Party Prime Ministers include John A. Macdonald, Sir Robert Borden, Arthur Meighen, R. B. Bennett, John Diefenbaker, Joe Clark, Brian Mulroney, and Kim Campbell.

The new Conservative Party elected its leader in a 2004 leadership election, making Stephen Harper the official party leader.

Harper led the Conservatives to secure 99 seats in the House of Commons in the 2004 general election and became the Leader of the Official Opposition.

The Conservatives held a founding convention in 2005 to establish and present a new series of ideas for the party which would be used to show the party as tough-to-beat for the then sitting Liberals in the next election.

In early 2006, Harper led his party to a minority win collecting 124 seats in the House and securing himself as the new Prime Minister.

The following election in 2008 saw Harper’s Conservatives gain seats, reaching 143, but not the required number to secure a majority government. This would be Harper’s second minority government.

In the 2011 general election, Harper got a majority government when his party won a resounding 166 seats. This government would last until the 2015 federal election, where the Liberals would win a majority government.

After the Conservative defeat, Stephen Harper stepped down as leader and Rona Ambrose took over as interim leader until a new leader could be chosen. Andrew Scheer won the 2017 vote. After failing to lead the party to an election win in 2019, Scheer stepped down as leader in December 2019. In 2020, Erin O’Toole won the leadership race and took over as leader.

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Free Party Canada

Party Leader: Michel Leclerc
Founded: December 11, 2019
Number of Seats: Zero

Free Party Canada / Parti Libre Canada has been a registered political party in Canada since 2020. In October 2020, the party ran its first candidate in the Toronto Centre by-election.

The party leader is Michel Leclerc.

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Green Party of Canada

Party Leader: Annamie Paul
Founded: 1983
Number of Seats: 2

In 1983 at a convention in Ottawa, the Green Party of Canada was founded to center environmental protection and participatory democracy in Canadian politics. The first party leader was Trevor Hancock and the party had 60 candidates who ran in the federal election the following year.

The number of candidates rose each election to the point where the Greens now run candidates in nearly all federal ridings in recent elections.

Joan Russow became the party leader in 1997. She was the first Green leader to do a national leader’s tour as the Green party acquired the resources to present a full bilingual national platform and campaign.

The party ran 111 candidates in the 2000 election but did not win any seats, including in the riding of leader Joan Russow.

Jim Harris became the leader of the Green Party in 2003 and the party was able to run candidates in all federal ridings in the election of 2004. The Greens did not win a seat in this election but got 4.3 percent of the popular vote, enough to secure federal party financing.

Elizabeth May, who was an organizer and helped form the party in 1983, became leader in 2006 at a leadership convention.

May was invited to attend the debates for the 2008 general election campaign causing the popular vote percentage to increase, but no Greens were elected to the House of Commons.

Elizabeth May became the first Green Party member elected to parliament in 2011 and was joined in 2013 by an independent in the House who joined the Greens, creating a two-member Green Party caucus.

In October 2015, the Greens ran 336 candidates out of a total 338 ridings. Elizabeth May was the only one to win her seat.

In May 2019 Paul Manly won the Nanaimo-Ladysmith by-election, becoming the second elected Green MP. In the federal election later that year Manly and May were both re-elected as well as a third Green MP, Jenica Atwin. Following the 2019 federal election Elizabeth May announced her plans to step down as leader while remaining an MP. In 2020 Annamie Paul was elected as leader.

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Liberal Party of Canada

Party Leader: Justin Trudeau
Founded: 1867
Number of Seats: 155

The Liberal Party was formed before Canadian Confederation. Notable leaders and Prime Ministers from Canada’s history include George Brown, Alexander Mackenzie, Wilfrid Laurier, Mackenzie King, Louis St. Laurent, Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, and John Turner.

John Turner won the leadership of the Liberals after Pierre Trudeau stepped down and retired in 1984. He called a snap election as soon as he was in office but Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservatives won the election with a majority victory.

Turner resigned as Liberal leader in 1990 and at the leadership convention in Calgary in June the same year, Jean Chretien won.

In the 1993 federal election, the Liberals, led by Chretien, won a large majority of 177 seats while the Progressive Conservatives won just two seats.

The Liberals were re-elected in 1997 and 2000 with Jean Chretien as Prime Minister.

Jean Chretien remained as leader until he stepped down and a leadership convention occurred in 2003. The winner at that convention was Paul Martin and he was soon after sworn in by the Governor General as Prime Minister.

Paul Martin’s Liberal party won the federal election in 2004 but were only successful in securing a minority government.

In late 2005, Martin asked the Governor General to dissolve parliament and called an election for early the next year. Largely because of the sponsorship scandal (illegal spending by the Liberal government to companies in Quebec), the Liberals lost support and in the ensuing election in January 2006, won 103 seats, losing to the Conservatives who won a minority government.

Bill Graham acted as interim leader when Paul Martin decided to not take the position of Leader of the Official Opposition. The Liberals would hold leadership conventions in 2006 and also in 2009. Stephane Dion won the leadership in 2006 but lost seats in the election of 2008, and decided he would not lead the party into another election.

Michael Ignatieff acted as interim leader and went on to win the 2009 Liberal leadership race, after losing to Stephane Dion in 2006.

In the 2011 federal election, the Liberals came in third behind the Conservatives and the NDP and were only able to secure 34 seats in the House – a historical low for the party.

After the election, Ignatieff stepped down and Bob Rae was chosen as interim leader. In 2013, Justin Trudeau was elected leader of the Liberal Party. In 2015, Trudeau led the Liberals to a major win securing 184 seats in the House.

In the 2019 election the Liberals failed to secure a second majority, but remained in government winning 157 seats.

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Libertarian Party of Canada

Party Leader: Jacques Boudreau
Founded: 1973
Number of Seats: Zero

The Libertarian Party was founded in 1973 by Bruce Evoy who ran in a Toronto riding in 1974 but did not win a seat. The party’s main ideology focuses on laissez-faire government, fiscal conservatism, and civil libertarianism.

In the 1979 election, the party ran 50 candidates, qualifying itself for registered party status.

In the 1980s and 90s, the Libertarian Party ran dozens of candidates in elections and those numbers fell to less than half of that in the 2000s, with the exception of 2015 when the party ran 72 nominees.

The Libertarian Party ran 24 candidates in the 2019 federal election, none were elected.

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Marijuana Party

Party Leader: Blair Longley
Founded: 2000
Number of Seats: Zero

Marc-Boris St-Maurice founded the Marijuana Party in 2000 and ran 73 candidates in the federal election that year. The party’s main focus was ending prohibition of cannabis with candidates allowed to freely express any views on other political issues.

In 2004, the party ran 71 candidates, but the numbers have dropped significantly in the elections since, partly due to funding.

In 2005, Blair Longley became the new leader after St-Maurice left to join the Liberals in order to fight for marijuana legalization from within a mainstream political party.

The Marijuana Party has never won a seat in the House of Commons.

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Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada

Party Leader: Anna Di Carlo
Founded: March 31, 1970
Number of Seats: Zero

The Marxist-Leninist Party, focused on far-left and communist ideologies, was founded in 1970 by Hardial Bains, who led the party until his death in 1997.

Sandra L. Smith took the reigns for her husband, Bains, for ten years until 2008 when Anna Di Carlo was chosen as leader.

The party continues to run dozens of candidates in each federal election, but has never won a seat in the House of Commons.

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Maverick Party

Party Leader: Jay D. Hill
Founded: 2020
Number of Seats: Zero

The Maverick Party was founded as the Wexit Canada Party. In June 2020 former Conservative MP, Jay Hill became leader and the party name changed to the Maverick Party. The party aims to achieve fairness for Western Canadians and wants to create an independent nation. 

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National Citizens Alliance of Canada

Party Leader: Stephen J. Garvey
Founded: November 18, 2014
Number of Seats: Zero

Stephen J Garvey founded the National Citizens Alliance of Canada, a far-right and national conservatist party, in 2014 and remains leader today.

The National Citizens Alliance is headquartered in Calgary.

Garvey and three other candidates for the NCA ran in the 2019 federal election, but none were elected.

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New Democratic Party

Party Leader: Jagmeet Singh
Founded: August 3, 1961
Number of Seats: 24

Tommy Douglas was the first leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) which was formed in 1961 by merging left-wing groups.

Other leaders in the history of the party include David Lewis, Ed Broadbent, Audrey McLaughlin, and Alexa McDonough.

In elections between 1962 and 2000, the NDP won many seats and have remained in the third or fourth place in the House of Commons, but have never won enough seats to form government.

In the 2000 election, the NDP only won 13 seats and began redeveloping party structure and ideals.

In 2002, McDonough resigned as leader and was succeeded by Jack Layton in 2003.

The 2004 election saw small gains as the NDP won 19 seats in the House, fewer than predicted by Layton. In the 2006 election, the NDP increased that number to 29, and in 2008 to 37.

In 2011, Jack Layton led his party to the biggest win the NDP had ever seen. The party won 103 seats and made serious inroads in Quebec. Jack Layton became the Leader of the Official Opposition, a first for the NDP in that role.

Just two months after the historical win for the NDP, Layton stepped down temporarily due to his battle with cancer. He planned to be back after a summer recess, but unfortunately passed away in August 2011.

Nycole Turmel, at the suggestion of Layton, remained interim leader until a leadership convention could be held in 2012.

Thomas Mulcair won that leadership contest and assumed the role of the Leader of the Official Opposition.

In the 2015 general election, the NDP kept 44 seats, being the best number the party ever achieved after the large 2011 win.

Mulcair stayed on as interim leader after losing a leadership review vote in 2016, until a convention could be held to choose a new leader.

In October 2017, Jagmeet Singh won the leadership. Singh was leader without holding a seat in the House until he ran in a by-election in Burnaby South in early 2019 and won.

In the 2019 federal election the NDP were reduced to 24 seats.

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Parti pour l'Indépendance du Québec

Party Leader: Michel Blondin
Founded: September 2019
Number of Seats: Zero

The Parti pour l’Indépendance du Québec was founded as a new separatist party to exclusively promote independence. In the 2019 federal election the party ran candidates in 13 ridings, but none were elected.

The party founder and leader is Michel Blondin.

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Parti Rhinocéros Party

Party Leader: Sébastien CoRhino
Founded: 1963
Number of Seats: Zero

The Rhinoceros Party is a satirical political party originally formed in the 1960s.

The party was named for a rhinoceros in Brazil named Cacareco (the party claimed to be spiritual descendants of said rhinoceros), who received 100,000 ‘protest’ votes in the 1958 Sao Paulo council election when Brazilians were unhappy with their voting options.

Cornelius the First, a rhinoceros from a Quebec zoo, was named as the leader of the original Rhinoceros Party.

In 1993, the party lost its official party status when it attempted to abstain from the election, as it failed to run at least 50 candidates in the election. Without party status, the party was dissolved.

The party has run a handful of candidates in various elections who create satirical platforms and campaign messaging. A candidate from Montreal suggested as a platform point that the capital of Canada should be moved to Kapuskasing, Ontario because it is in the centre of the country.

The Rhinoceros Party ran 28 candidates in the 2015 election and 39 candidates in 2019.

In 2019, the party nominated a candidate named Maxime Bernier in the riding of Beauce where the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, also named Maxime Bernier ran for election. Neither Bernier was elected.

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People’s Party of Canada

Party Leader: Maxime Bernier
Founded: September 14, 2018
Number of Seats: Zero

The People’s Party of Canada, a right-wing populist party, was formed by Maxime Bernier in 2018 after he left the Conservative Party of Canada.

In the 2019 election the party ran candidates in 315 ridings, but none were elected. Party leader Bernier lost his seat.

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Veterans Coalition Party of Canada

Party Leader: Randy David Joy
Founded: May 20, 2019
Number of Seats: Zero

The Veterans Coalition Party of Canada was founded by Randy Joy, a former Canadian Armed Forces member. The party is intended to be a coalition of soldiers, first responders, and citizens who serve the nation and was established to provide Canadians a federal political party “founded on truth, duty, and honour.”

The party ran 25 candidates in the 2019 federal election, but none were elected.

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