Special Parliamentarians

What is government?

The government is a group of Members of Parliament (and sometimes Senators) that are cabinet ministers. A cabinet minister is a parliamentarian that is assigned a specific role in overseeing the operations of a government agency (i.e. the Minister of National Defence or the Minister of International Trade). What makes them the government is that they have the confidence of the House of Commons. This means that a majority of the Members of Parliament support this particular group of MPs and Senators as cabinet ministers to essentially run the affairs of government. The cabinet ministers, together with the other Members of Parliament and Senators that support them make up the government.

What is the Official Opposition?

This group of Members of Parliament and Senators are from the party that won the second most seats in the House of Commons. So for example, let’s say the Conservatives won the most seats in the House of Commons, but still have only a minority of seats in the Senate compared to the Liberals. The Liberals would therefore form the Official Opposition in the Senate (even though they have more seats), because they don’t have the most seats in the House.

Key Special Parliamentarians

Prime Minister

Prime Minister is the leader of the party that forms government. This person chairs the cabinet meetings when they are held and is head of the federal government in Canada. This person also recommends appointments to the Senate, Supreme Court and the cabinet.


Minister leads a specific government department and reports to the people of Canada in the House of Commons (or Senate). This person is responsible for the goings-on in the department under their care (kind of like a senior vice president in a large corporation).


Cabinet is the name of the Prime Minister and all the other Ministers. Cabinet has something called royal prerogative, meaning that they can make certain decisions amongst themselves without having to seek approval from Parliament. It is essential to have pro-life cabinet ministers in the House of Commons.

Leader Of The Official Opposition

Leader of the Official Opposition is the leader of the party that won the second most amount of seats in the House of Commons. The Leader of the Opposition leads of daily question period in the House by asking the Prime Minister questions, speaks for the Opposition caucus and makes key parliamentary appointments.

Shadow Cabinet

Shadow Cabinet is full of Official Opposition parliamentarians that are tied to a cabinet minister. Their job is to ask questions to that cabinet minister and to scrutinize the way they handle their file to ensure they are doing their jobs properly.


Speaker is the referee in the house. This person ensures that parliamentary procedure is followed and they control who speaks and who does not. The Speaker is not allowed to vote and must be non-partisan at all times. The Speakers of both houses are elected by all sitting members of the chamber.

So why does this matter to pro-lifers?

While all parliamentarians are equal in their vote, not all are equal in their power and influence. It is essential that pro-lifers hold key roles in cabinet, shadow cabinet and committees to ensure that the pro-life agenda is advanced, politically. The best way to ensure this happens is by electing as many pro-life politicians as possible. You can start today by joining RightNow!

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