The Canada.ca Web Content Style Guide: An unofficial preview by Tom Vradenburg Chair, EAC NCR

It has been nearly 20 years since Public Works published The Canadian Style. At January’s meeting, I summarized this new ‘content style guide’ published by Treasury Board on GCConnex.ca.

Where the guide fits

While not exactly a replacement for The Canadian Style, the guide says, “in situations where this document disagrees with Canadian Style, follow this document” (quotes mine). And so much about publishing has changed in 20 years, so an update is nice. What I really appreciate is how this document consolidates things that editors should know from several other Public Works documents about publishing, such as the standards on web interoperability.

The greater emphasis on plain language is good to see: Canadian Style does mention it, over a few pages at the back of the book. Here, the message is stressed throughout.

This new guide presents itself as the rulebook only for publishing on the canada.ca site, which will carry content from many departments. But if you work in any government department, this new web content style guide, with the weight of Treasury Board behind it, may be good style guidance you can take to the boss.

My presentation, in PowerPoint format, is posted.

05_E_CanadaWebGuide (1)

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