Station 2 – Which Level of Government?

Station instructions:

  1. Read aloud each Headline News Card. Decide together which level of government you think is responsible for that topic. Sort the cards into three piles:
    • Federal Responsibilities
    • Provincial/Territorial Responsibilities
    • Municipal/Local Responsibilities
  2. Check your answers using the reference sheet.
  3. As a group, make a list of 5 to 10 topics that you care most about. Which level of government is responsible for each of your topics?
  4. Discuss and reflect: What would your group like to see happen? Choose one topic at each level that your group cares about. How could you get involved? 

Headline News Cards

Cut apart the following 15 cards to prepare this station.

  • Garbage strike leads to raccoon problems in many neighbourhoods
  • Should we eliminate nickels and dimes? Opinion
  • Armed forces to help with response to spring flooding
  • New high school to be built in growing community
  • Community soup-tasting competition raises funds for youth programs
  • Electrical fire forces evacuation of business
  • Changes coming in university tuition fees
  • Investment in public transit sparks renewal in downtown core
  • Report proposes changes to media regulations
  • Historic land deal signed with a First Nation
  • Improvements announced for the Trans-Canada Highway in a national park
  • Government to spend millions on upgrades to highways and roads
  • Bad weather causes major mail delays
  • Property taxes will increase to pay for new water treatment plant
  • Funding increase for mental health care will cut wait times

Reference sheet - Responsibilities

Note: Some responsibilities are shared among different levels of government.

Federal government responsibilitiesProvincial or territorial government responsibilitiesMunicipal or local government responsibilities
  • Citizenship and passports
  • Criminal law
  • Currency
  • Federal taxes
  • Fisheries
  • Foreign affairs and international trade
  • Indigenous lands and rights
  • National defence
  • Official languages
  • Parks Canada
  • Postal service
  • Telecommunications policy
  • Veterans affairs
  • Colleges and universities
  • Education
  • Hospitals and health care
  • Natural resources
  • Property and civil rights
  • Provincial/territorial law and courts
  • Provincial/territorial parks
  • Provincial/territorial road maintenance
  • Provincial/territorial taxes
  • Social services
  • Animal control
  • Community centres
  • Fire protection
  • Land use planning (zoning)
  • Municipal/local parks
  • Municipal/local police
  • Municipal/local road maintenance
  • Public transit
  • Recreation and community facilities
  • Waste management
  • Water supply and treatment

Student activity sheet

  1. Sort the Headline News Cards into federal, provincial/territorial and municipal/local responsibilities first, then check your answers using the reference sheet.
  2. Brainstorm: What are the topics we care about most in this group? Make a list of 5 to 10 topics that are most important to you as a group.
  3. Sort our topics: For each topic you listed above, what level of government is responsible? Label each issue with F (federal), P/T (provincial/territorial) or M/L (municipal/local).
  4. Discuss, brainstorm and reflect:
 FederalProvincial or territorialMunicipal or local
The topic we care most about   
What we would like to see happen   
How we could get involved