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What is the difference between a MLA and a Cabinet minister?

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In Canada, the term 'MLA' means Member of the Legislative Assembly. It is a term used in several provinces and territories (but not all) in reference to someone who has been elected to a provincial or territorial legislature. In Ontario the term is Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP), in Quebec, it is Member of the National assembly (MNA), and in Newfoundland it is Member of the House of Assembly (MHA). (A person who has been elected to the federal House of Commons is a Member of Parliament and is referred to as an 'MP.') A 'Cabinet' is the group of MLAs (or MPs) who actually govern. Most Cabinet Ministers are in charge of a specific government ministry, such as transportation, justice, finance, etc. A cabinet minister is almost always an MPP (or MP), but there have been some exceptions. MLAs are either members of the government party, or members of one of the opposition parties. In a parliamentary system, such as we have in Canada, voters do not elect a government. They elect a legislature. A government is then formed by the leader of the political party that elected the most MLAs (or MPs).
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