To use the Calendar, Javascript must be activated in your browser.
For more information

Home > The ABC of the National Assembly > The Office of MNA

The Office of MNA

The members of a Legislature are elected by universal suffrage to represent their fellow citizens. In Québec, they sit in the Assemblée nationale and are called "Members of the Assemblée nationale", "MNAs", "Members of Parliament" or "parliamentarians".

The MNAs are chosen at election time by the voters in their respective electoral divisions. An electoral division (or "riding") is a community established on the basis of geographical, demographic and sociological criteria. Each electoral division is represented by one MNA.

The people of Québec are represented in the Assemblée nationale by 125 MNAs elected in as many ridings. That's why we call our democracy "representative".

Who Can Be an MNA?

In Québec, under the Election Act anyone wishing to run for office as an MNA must

  • be a Canadian citizen,
  • be 18 years of age or over,
  • have been a Québec resident for at least six months, and
  • not be under curatorship or deprived of election rights.

The people who elect the MNAs, i.e. the voters, must satisfy the same requirements and must also be on the permanent list of electors.

A candidate may run for a political party or as an independent, without any affiliation to a political party.

Getting Elected

To hold office as an MNA, candidates must be elected in

  • a general election, held in all of Québec' electoral divisions on the same day,
  • a by-election held in an electoral division after an MNA's resignation or death or under a court decision.

Multiple by-elections may be held on the same day.

Once an election has been called, aspiring candidates must come forward before the time limit set in the Election Act by filing a nomination paper with the returning officer in the electoral division where they wish to run. The nomination paper must be signed by 100 voters registered on the list of electors for that electoral division.

  • If only one candidate comes forward, that person is automatically elected by acclamation.
  • If two or more candidates come forward, an election is held and the candidate with the most votes becomes the MNA for that electoral division.

During the election period, the candidates campaign in their electoral divisions so that voters will know who they are and what their political platform is.

Electoral System

In Québec, on polling day, MNAs are elected under a first-past-the-post system characterized by

  • a majority vote: the candidate who attracts the most votes wins, regardless of the number of votes that went to opponents, and the winning candidate need not have garnered 50% of the votes cast;
  • a single member: one candidate only is elected in each of the 125 electoral divisions; and
  • a single ballot: each voter votes once only, which means that the results of the poll are known within a short period of time.

Under the Constitution, a Legislature—the MNAs' collective term—can be no longer than five years.

For more on running for office as MNA, on the electoral system, on voting or on election funding rules, visit the Élections Québec website.

Oath of Office

After an election, the candidates who were elected must be sworn in by the Secretary General of the Assemblée nationale before they can take their seat in the Assemblée nationale. On that occasion, they take an oath of loyalty to the people of Québec:

"I, (name of the MNA), declare under oath that I will be loyal to the people of Québec and that I will perform the duties of Member honestly and justly in conformity with the constitution of Québec."

Until the beginning of the 43rd Legislature, MNAs also had to take the oath of allegiance provided for in the Constitution Act, 1867. That oath was abolished in December 2022 by the passage of the Act to recognize the oath provided in the Act respecting the National Assembly as the sole oath required to sit in the Assembly.

Roles of MNAs

As representatives of the people, MNAs have three main roles:

MNAs also sometimes act as the Assemblée nationale's ambassadors when on a mission outside Québec as part of interparliamentary relations. Such missions provide them with opportunities to discuss current issues with other parliamentarians, raise the Assemblée nationale's profile and promote Québec's interests.

In the Assemblée nationale and in parliamentary committees, some MNAs also act as House officers.

MNAs as Legislators

The foremost role of an MNA consists in considering bills and voting them into law. This is done in a number of stages in the Assemblée nationale and in parliamentary committee.

More on the stages in the consideration of a bill

MNAs as Overseers of Government Action

MNAs also act as overseers of government action. They accomplish this through various means.

MNAs as Intermediaries

MNAs represent the people in their respective ridings and so, when not sitting in the Assemblée nationale, they are at their riding offices, meeting with the people who come to them with requests for access to a government program, for example, or the amendment of a law or regulation, or with a complaint against a department or body of the Gouvernement du Québec (the Administration).

MNAs act as intermediaries between their constituents and the Administration. They make sure their communities get their fair share of public programs, be it in the area of health care, education, employment assistance or in another area.

An MNA may present a petition to the Assemblée nationale on behalf of a group, asking the Assemblée nationale to redress a situation that is affecting an individual or association and that the group considers unfair.

MNAs also promote regional development. They bring to light the needs of their ridings to the ministers and public servants responsible for allocating the State's funds and defend the interests of their ridings in debates in the House, during consideration of the Government's estimates of expenditure or at meetings with ministers or public servants.

Services Offered to MNAs by the Assemblée nationale

Assemblée nationale personnel offer four types of services to MNAs:

Support During Proceedings

The Secretary General of the Assemblée nationale, with the help of a team of specialists in parliamentary law, sees to the preparation of the Assemblée nationale's sittings, Order Paper and Notices, and Votes and Proceedings. The Secretary General also advises MNAs on parliamentary procedure, especially when the Chair hands down a ruling.

Also, each parliamentary committee has a clerk whose role is to assist the committee chair and vice-chair, both of whom are MNAs.

Private Members may call on the services of Assemblée nationale personnel to prepare private bills and private Member's bills.

Documentation and Research

Through the Bibliothèque de l'Assemblée nationale (page in French), MNAs have access to a comprehensive body of documentation, both in print and electronic format, particularly in the fields of law and political science.

Assemblée nationale personnel also carry out research and produce analytical studies on issues of concern to the MNAs and the parliamentary committees.

At the beginning of each Legislature, the Bureau de l'Assemblée nationale determines, by regulation, the amounts to be allotted to each political party for research services.

Support During Representation Abroad

The Assemblée nationale belongs to a number of international interparliamentary organizations and maintains bilateral relations with several parliaments. A team of advisers assists the President and the MNAs in this area, in addition to planning, organizing and managing the protocolar and logistic aspects of official missions and visits.

Technological and Administrative Support

A range of administrative services is in place to ensure that parliamentary proceedings run smoothly. In light of the particular support MNAs need in their work and the autonomy of Parliament, the Assemblée nationale has set up its own security, messenger, restaurant, printing and property management services.

The Assemblée nationale provides MNAs with offices in the Hôtel du Parlement, and with the equipment and supplies they need to do their work. Each MNA is also assigned a seat in the House by the President.

The Assemblée nationale also advises MNAs on the procurement of computer hardware and software and on computer security in their Hôtel du Parlement and riding offices.

Remuneration and Allowances

The regular remuneration of an MNA consists in

MNAs are also entitled to allowances to cover

  • expenses incurred in the exercise of their functions,
  • expenses incurred for travel between their ridings and the Hôtel du Parlement or to participate in political activities in Québec, and
  • accommodation expenses in the city of Québec.

MNAs are granted a budget for their riding work. This budget covers the rental of office space, administrative expenses and staff payroll.

More on indemnities and allowances

Incompatible Offices and Conflicts of Interest

The Code of ethics and conduct of the Members of the National Assembly (PDF, 1 MB) sets out the rules governing offices or posts incompatible with the office of MNA and includes provisions on conflicts of interest that could arise during an MNA's term of office.

An MNA may not

  • sit on a municipal council or school board, or be a member of a school service centre
  • hold an employment, a position or a post to which remuneration or a benefit in lieu of remuneration is attached if it is held with
    • the Gouvernement du Québec or one of its departments or a public body;
    • the federal government, the government of another province or of a territory, or a department or an agency of such a government, except the regular Armed Forces or the Reserve;
    • a foreign country; or
    • an international non-profit organization.

The President of the Assemblée nationale may not hold the post of director or officer of a legal person, partnership or association engaged in professional, commercial, industrial or financial activities.

MNAs must avoid putting themselves in situations where their private interests could impair independence of judgment in carrying out their duties of office. Nor may they use information not generally available to the public or influence another person's decision in order to further their own interests, those of a non-dependent child or other close family member or any other person.

The Code also states that, subject to certain exceptions, a Member may not be a party, directly or indirectly, to a contract with the Government or a government department or public body.

For more on the rules governing incompatible offices or posts and conflicts of interest, visit the Ethics Commissioner's site.



Additional Information