Writing for different regions

Tip of the DayWhen preparing public legal educational (PLE) materials, it’s important to be aware of differences in provincial and territorial laws and procedures, as well as variations in the names of government departments or other organizations. If your legal topic is under provincial jurisdiction, for example, tenants’ rights or social assistance, it may not be possible to address a country-wide audience and ensure legal accuracy. Also, some information on legal topics such as tenants’ rights may be affected by municipal by-laws.

Even if the information is under federal jurisdiction, such as employment insurance or refugee rights, there can be important regional variations that you need to address.

Here are some tips to make sure that your PLE materials are relevant to people living in different regions:

  • Make sure your information clearly states what regions it applies to and that it’s reviewed by experts in those regions
  • In referral and contact lists, include organizations for each target area – check that “provincial” or “national”
    organizations actually serve all of the area they claim to
  • Talk to intermediaries in all the provinces and territories you want to cover.

See CLEO’s Better Legal Information Handbook for more information on tone and other clear language writing tips.

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