House of Commons of Canada

The House of Commons of Canada (French: Chambre des communes du 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.

House of Commons of Canada

Chambre des communes du Canada
44th Parliament
Type
Type
Leadership
Anthony Rota, Liberal
since December 5, 2019
Justin Trudeau, Liberal
since November 4, 2015
Candice Bergen, Conservative
since February 2, 2022
Mark Holland, Liberal
since October 26, 2021
John Brassard, Conservative
since February 5, 2022
Structure
Seats339
Political groups
Her Majesty's Government
  •   Liberal (159)

Confidence and supply

Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition

Parties with official status

Parties without official status

SalaryCA$185,800 (sessional indemnity effective April 1, 2021)[2]
Elections
First-past-the-post
First election
August 7 – September 20, 1867
Last election
September 20, 2021[3]
Meeting place
House of Commons Chamber
West Block - Parliament Hill
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
Website
www.ourcommons.ca
Rules
Standing Orders of the House of Commons (English, French)

The House of Commons is a democratically elected body whose members are known as members of Parliament (MPs). There have been 338 MPs since the most recent electoral district redistribution for the 2015 federal election, which saw the addition of 30 seats.[4][5][6][7] Members are elected by simple plurality ("first-past-the-post" system) in each of the country's electoral districts, which are colloquially known as ridings.[8] MPs may hold office until Parliament is dissolved and serve for constitutionally limited terms of up to five years after an election. Historically however, terms have ended before their expiry and the sitting government has typically dissolved parliament within four years of an election according to a long-standing convention. In any case, an act of Parliament now limits each term to four years. Seats in the House of Commons are distributed roughly in proportion to the population of each province and territory. However, some ridings are more populous than others, and the Canadian constitution contains provisions regarding provincial representation. As a result, there is some interprovincial and regional malapportionment relative to the population.

The British North America Act 1867 (now called the Constitution Act, 1867) created the Dominion of Canada and the House of Commons, modeling it the British House of Commons. The lower of the two houses making up the parliament, the House of Commons in practice holds far more power than the upper house, the Senate. Although the approval of both chambers is necessary for legislation to become law, the Senate very rarely rejects bills passed by the House of Commons (though the Senate does occasionally amend bills). Moreover, the Cabinet is responsible solely to the House of Commons. The prime minister stays in office only so long as they retain the support, or "confidence", of the lower house.

The House of Commons currently meets in a temporary chamber in the West Block of the parliament buildings on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, while the Centre Block, which houses the traditional Commons chamber, undergoes renovation.


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