Brian Topp tells the CBC that, if he’s elected leader of the NDP, he’ll ask an NDP MP in Quebec to step aside so that he can run in a by-election.
Fun fact: the last three leaders of the opposition who went on to become prime minister weren’t MPs when they won their party leaderships.
Stephen Harper was elected leader of the Canadian Alliance in March 20, 2002 and then ran in a by-election to fill the seat for Calgary Southwest that was left vacant when Preston Manning resigned in January of that year. Not until May 21, 2002 did Mr. Harper make his first appearance in the House as the leader of the opposition.
Jean Chretien was elected leader of the Liberal party on June 23, 1990. Fernand Robichaud, the Liberal MP for Beausejour, resigned, so that Mr. Chretien could run in a by-election there. Mr. Chretien then took his seat as the leader of the opposition on Dec. 21, 1990.
Brian Mulroney was elected leader of the Progressive Conservatives on June 11, 1983. Elmer MacKay (father of Peter) then stepped down, allowing Mr. Mulroney to run in Central Nova. Mr. Mulroney then took his seat as the leader of the opposition on August 29, 1993.