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Capitalizing government

Capitalize specific international, national and provincial government departments, ministries, agencies, boards etc., including short forms of the proper name.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Education
  • B.C. Highways Ministry
  • Canada Post Corp. (on first reference), Canada Post (on subsequent references)
  • Newfoundland Liquor Corporation


Capitalize cabinet portfolios only as part of a title directly preceding a name.

  • Health Minister Tony Clement; but Tony Clement, federal minister of health


Lower case the cabinet member’s title in subsequent reference and when it stands alone.

  • Finance Minister Bernard Hannon addressed the House of Commons yesterday.
  • The finance minister spoke again about the budget he released last week.


Capitalize descriptions of the department or ministry that refer to their proper name, even when they stand alone.

  • The cuts will affect Justice and Communications.
  • Over 25 years, she worked in Archives, Housing and Natural Resources.


Lower case common nouns related to government ministries standing alone and in a group (plural references), and in subsequent references.

  • the department, a ministry spokesperson, board members, the authority
  • the departments of Justice and Defence