Capital letters are often used by authors simply to indicate the importance of a term to the discussion; however, the fact of the discussion itself can generally be taken to indicate the importance of a term. Therefore, when deciding whether to capitalize a noun or adjective, the copy editor's first inclination should be not to capitalize (or, if a noun is already capitalized, to lowercase).
Proper nouns and adjectives are capitalized. Proper adjectives that have acquired a common meaning are not capitalized.
the Arctic, the Canadian Arctic, but the arctic climate
the borough of East York
New York City, but the city of New York
Quebec City, but the city of Quebec
the North, the South, the East, the West
the Liberal government
the Bloc, the Bloc québécois, the Conservatives, the Liberals, the New Democrats, Reform
the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party, the Reform Party
the administration, the Clinton administration, the US administration
Cabinet, the Cabinet, a Cabinet committee
Crown, the Crown, Crown land
the government, the federal government, the provincial government
the House of Commons, the House, the Commons
the legislature, the Ontario legislature
the Legislative Assembly, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
the Opposition (the official Opposition), opposition parties
the Prime Minister's Office (the entity, not the room)
the Senate, senatorial
the Speaker (of the House)
the Carter commission
the Department of Finance, Finance
the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
the Royal Commission on Taxation, the royal commission
the Tax Policy Branch
Full and short references to statutes are capitalized; plural and generic references are lowercase. All pinpoint references are lowercase.
Bill 99, the Bill
bills 99 and 100
the Constitution: the Canadian Constitution, the US Constitution
a draft act, a draft bill
the Income Tax Act, the Act, this Act
provincial companies acts
part XIII of the Act; division B of the Act; section 123 of the Act
All references to parliamentary procedures are lowercase.
first reading, second reading, third (or final) reading
notice of ways and means motion
order in council
private member's bill
ways and means motion
the bar of Ontario, the bar
the bar admission course, the bar ads
the Board of Inquiry, the board
the court, the courts
the Supreme Court of Canada, the Supreme Court, a Supreme Court ruling
the Provincial Division court
the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal, the tribunal
Titles of office are capitalized only when they are used in conjunction with proper names. When no proper name is used, titles are lowercase and punctuated according to usual style.
Prime Minister Trudeau, the prime minister
Chief of Police Saunders, the chief of police
Chief Justice McLachlin, the chief justice
Minister of Finance Morneau, the minister of finance
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship McCallum, the minister of immigration, refugees, and citizenship note serial comma
Exception: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen
Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund
the Canada Pension Plan
established programs financing
goods and services tax
harmonized sales tax
manufacturers' sales tax
new experimental experience rating plan
old age security
provincial sales tax
return-to-work plan (but return to work (v.))
Second Injury and Enhancement Fund
Specific references to educational levels, courses, and departments are capitalized; plural and generic references are lowercase.
the Department of Psychology, Seneca College
introductory psychology course
a sociology department
college faculties of education
grade 9, grade 10, grades 11 and 12
Generally, small caps are not used in Emond publications. However, where whole words and phrases appear in capital letters (e.g., trademarked product names in intellectual property texts, judges' names in casebooks), the copy editor should mark the text for small caps. (The text so marked will be reduced one point size on galleys.)
References to elements of a book within the book itself are uppercase.
See Figures 1.1 and 1.2 on the following page.
As we saw in Chapter 3, Inadmissibility ...
This shall be reviewed in Part II.
References to elements of another book are lowercase.
Smith's figures 1.1 and 1.2 show the change over time.
As Jones explains in chapter 3 of her text, ...
Generic terms are lowercase. Proper names or proprietary terms that have entered common use are lowercase. The names of notional or prospective things are lowercase.
The courts have considered this question.
To search on Google is to google. They suffered a draconian punishment as a result. To make a copy on a Xerox machine is to xerox.
Canadians in the 1960s dreamed of a charter of rights and freedoms.
For the capitalization of headings, see Headings.