The GPC Party Leader is responsible to present the party's platform to the public via major media - see press protocol. Most importantly the Leader will often be required to participate in short notice in the press release protocol - typically to provide quotes on issues on demand.

Under the GPC Constitution, the Leader plays no special role on GPC Council and has no power to override any of the constitutions terms, hire staff or violate GPC protocols that Council agrees on. The Leader presents the party's work to the public, inspires the party's members, but is explicitly not empowered to override the participatory democracy powers granted the members - policy does not come from the Leader, nor do the operating protocols by which the Party runs.

The most important role of the Leader is, upon a writ drop, to execute the election protocol which includes all the necessary actions that must legally be undertaken to run a full slate of candidates, publish a platform and achieve the major media coverage required to present that platform and to respond to other parties' moves.

The Leader must also participate in the party leaders TV debate that is part of every Canadian federal election. A major focus of the Leader's effort in 2004 was lobbying to be included in this debate.

See leaders centre for other responsibilities the Leader should be actively taking on, and encouraging other Party leaders to take on. Note that none of them are internal - most members consider it a problem when the Leader takes too active an interest in the platform production or internal hiring or organizing.

The job of Leader is an elected officer position and is next up for election at the GPC convention, August 2006. Proposals to permit a Leader to remain until challenged by a substantial proportion of the GPC membership were presented at the GPC convention, August 2004 but failed.

The current holder of this officer post is Jim Harris. Leadership was strongly contested in 2004 by Tom Manley who achieved about 37% of the vote - which was very low, about 28% of total GPC membership.