Three Levels of Elections – Video Transcript

Visual: Animated video. Establishing shot. Slow camera pan of a rural setting stopping in front of a school. A group of diverse students are standing in front of the school. The video’s two main characters, a girl and boy ages 15-17, are standing in the foreground. The characters turn their attention to a sign being placed in front of the school. The sign reads: Vote Here.

Narrator: Did you know that, no matter where you live in Canada, if you’re a Canadian citizen, 18 years or older, you have a say in at least three different levels of government? That’s right! You will get to vote for representatives in federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal elections, and help shape the world you live in.

Visual: The main characters then turn their attention to a map of Canada that drops down in front of the school. It has red and white zones representing the Canadian flag. The text on the map reads: How do elections work?

Narrator: But how do elections work at each level? Who organizes them?

Visual: The map turns grey and all provincial and territorial flags appear where each election agency is located. The text on the map reads: Election agencies. The flags disappear and the Canadian flag appears where Elections Canada’s office is located, in Gatineau, Quebec.

Narrator: To ensure elections are fair and accessible, they are run by independent non-partisan election agencies, like Elections Canada—the agency responsible for running federal elections.

Visual: As the Canadian flag is replaced by a small Parliament building icon, the camera zooms into a split screen. To the left, our main characters stand beside the map. To the right of screen, two characters walk into frame and stand in front of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa. The following text appears on screen: House of Commons.

Narrator: In a federal election, you vote for someone to represent you in the House of Commons in Ottawa.

Visual: The camera zooms back out to the main characters standing beside the map and provincial and territorial flags on the map reappear. They show where each provincial election office is located. The camera zooms into the map, and pans across to show a close up of each location and flag. The camera zooms out again to show a split screen. On one side our main characters stand beside the map and on the other, a generic legislature building with two characters walking into frame, waving at our main characters.

Narrator: At the provincial level, each province and territory has its own agency to run elections. Here, you vote for someone to represent you in your provincial or territorial Legislature.

Visual: The flags on the map disappear and dots appear in each province to indicate local councils. Text on screen reads: Councils. The split screen to the right changes to show a generic city hall and two characters greeting the main characters to the left of screen.

Narrator: Municipal elections are also run by agencies or municipalities across the country who help you elect your local representatives such as mayors, councillors and school board trustees. At all three levels these agencies are responsible for running elections that are fair and equal for all—which is no small task.

Visual: Scene change. Purple background. Circular icons appear on screen to represent each step required to prepare for an election. As the narrator mentions the step, the circular icon is highlighted. From left to right, the icons are: a laptop with a person icon and a check mark on the screen, a character to represent an election worker, a school to represent a polling place, a map of Canada with several red location markers, and ballots.

Narrator: There’s lots to do before election day: candidates need to be confirmed, election staff need to be hired and trained, polling places need to be selected, and electors need to find out where and when they can vote.

Visual: Scene change. The ballots from the previous scene become signage on a truck that drives from a cityscape setting and past the school, where two main characters along with a group of diverse people are standing.

Narrator: Thousands, sometimes millions of ballots have to be created, printed, and sent to polling places. And that takes time! Once all this prep work is done, it’s time for election day.

Visual: Scene change. Inside the polling station. It is located in a school gymnasium. There is a diverse group of people at the polling station.  The sign on the wall reads: Who can Vote?

Narrator: But who gets to vote?

Visual: Scene change. Copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Narrator: According to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, all Canadian citizens have the right to vote.

Visual: Back to the polling station inside the school. A group of diverse people are getting in line to vote. Scene change. Outside the school with our two main characters. A purple overlay covers the school leaving our main characters visible.

Narrator: All registered voters who are 18 years or older on election day can participate in elections. That’s why it’s so important for you to cast your vote to be heard and to make sure that the laws that are implemented reflect what matters most to you. Some of you may not be able to vote yet, but there’s still a lot you can do.

Visual: The boy disappears from scene. A thought bubble with the text “Issue” appears next to the girl. A text box reads: Understand the issues.

Narrator: You can think about where you stand;

Visual: The girl disappears and the boy is standing with a group of people, holding signage with check marks. A text box reads: Take action.

Narrator: you can talk with your family and friends, sign petitions, or attend rallies;

Visual: A laptop appears on screen with the text: “Volunteer for our party.” A text box reads: Get involved. The laptop disappears and is replaced by a clipboard and document with a hand signing a document. Another text box reads: Register or work.

Narrator: you can volunteer for a political party; or, you may even be able to register to vote or work at an election.

Visual: Scene change. Outside the school, our main male character standing in front of the “Vote Here” sign. He is now dressed as an election worker. He greets our female character and the camera zooms out to show a wide shot of the school along with a group of people. All provincial and territorial flags pop up as well as the Parliament building, municipal and legislature building.

Narrator: How will you participate in all three different levels of government? How will you shape your future? To learn more about how you can participate in elections, please visit:

Visual: Elections Canada logo on gray background with telephone number 1-800-463-6868, URL and the following text: This video was developed in collaboration with all the provincial and territorial electoral agencies and with Elections Canada.

Grey background with the following text on-screen: This video focuses on elections occurring within the three levels of government: federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal/local. However, there are many other types of elections in Canada, including school board elections and elections in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities. These elections are run by different groups. For more information on these types of elections, please contact the appropriate, responsible body.