Three Levels of Government – Video Transcript 

Visual: Animated video. Establishing shot of a cityscape with a diverse group of individuals going about their day. A girl and boy, between 15 and 17 years of age emerge in the foreground. These are the video’s main characters. The girl has her cell phone in hand. The camera pans over to show a school in the background. A garbage truck pulls up and picks up a recycling bin.

Narrator: Did you know that you are interacting with three different levels of government right now? It’s true. Your cell phone service is regulated by the federal government. Over there, the province takes responsibility for funding and overseeing your school. And recycling programs to reduce waste in your community are run by your municipal government.

Visual: The camera pans to the right to reveal elements of the cityscape: an airplane, a school bus, a hospital, an ambulance and a city bus. Our main characters reappear in front of city hall.

Narrator: We depend on these services in our homes, in our communities, at our jobs, and for our entertainment. We trust they’ll be there every day to make our lives better. But where do these services come from? Do we have a say in how they are run?

Visual: Purple overlay on the cityscape. A question mark appears and our main characters are in the foreground with inquisitive looks on their faces.

Narrator: Yes, we do! Through elections. We elect people at three different levels of government to represent our voices in how all these services are managed.

Visual: Scene change. Purple overlay with close-up of parliament buildings. Text on screen reads: Three Levels of Government.

Narrator: But what are the three levels of government?

Visual: Same purple overlay with close-up of parliament building and text on screen that reads: Federal. Scene changes to show a different building with the text on screen: Provincial / Territorial. The background changes again to show another building with the text on screen: Municipal.

Narrator: There’s federal, provincial/territorial and municipal.

Visual: Scene change. Back to the cityscape where our main characters are seen looking at the Parliament buildings. Parliament is replaced by visuals related to telecommunications: A laptop, a computer screen, satellites and cellular towers.

Narrator: At each level, the representatives we elect make decisions that impact our lives. But what is each level responsible for? The federal government is responsible for the telecommunications policy that governs internet, cell phones, and TV providers!

Visual: Scene change. Our two main characters in a living room setting. The boy is seated on a couch watching television while the girl is talking on her cell phone.

Narrator: Think about how important it is for you to connect with family and friends, stream videos, download music and shop online!

Visual: Scene change. Our main characters are back outdoors in the cityscape. A postal delivery truck drives up into frame, and packages appear on the street. Our female character is holding money. The main characters look at one another and a question mark appears above their heads.

Narrator: And when those online purchases arrive in the mail? You guessed it! Canada Post is a federal institution. And the money you use to pay for all that great stuff? Also federal. What else is the federal government responsible for?

Visual: Scene change. Our main characters are now in an airport setting, holding passports, going through security. They pass a character in military clothing and two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers.

Narrator: Things like our passports, so that we can travel outside of Canada and for the military and the RCMP who keep us safe and secure.

Visual: The airline setting changes into a driver’s licence bureau where our two main characters stand in front a kiosk.

Narrator: But what about the other levels of government? What do they do? When you pass your road test and have been given your driver’s licence, that’s your provincial or territorial government at work!

Visual: Scene change. Two characters, one being a police officer, stand beside a car with a smashed bumper. There is a bent Moose Crossing sign and a moose, signalling that the car swerved to avoid the moose. The moose exits the frame. As the camera zooms in on the characters, the police officer and the background environment fade out slowly, leaving the character from the accident. She now has a sling on her arm. The background shifts back to the cityscape, with a hospital in the background. She is greeted by our main female character. A graduation cap appears on the head of the character who has a sling on their arm.

Narrator: This level of government also makes the rules of the road and runs the courts that enforce the rules. Your province or territory is also responsible for your health care, and your education. So, every time you go to school, you are using a provincial or territorial government service.

Visual: Scene change. Purple background with question marks.

Narrator: What about the municipal level?

Visual: Scene change. Indoor ice rink. Our two main characters are skating. Circles appear around them with images inside that illustrate different types of local services: a playground and community centre.

Narrator: This level is typically responsible for a lot of the local services you use in your community, like parks, community centres and recreation facilities.

Visual: Scene change. Our two main characters are standing at a bus stop in front of a community centre and the city bus drives into frame. The characters get on the bus, and the bus drives out of frame into the next scene which is the cityscape. The main characters get off the bus in front of a school. The camera zooms into a school window where we see a character drinking from a water fountain. The camera zooms back out to see our main characters wave at a police car driving by.

Narrator: Do you ever take the bus, train or subway to get to these places in your community? Local and municipal governments are usually responsible for public transit and in most places, for our drinking water, too. The municipal government also works to make sure you’re safe in your community.

Visual: Scene change. Our main characters are standing inside a school hallway by some lockers. The camera zooms into a school locker as it opens to show Polaroid photos of various scenes from the video: A Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a military officer standing in the airport, the injured character with the moose, and our main characters at the indoor skating rink.

Narrator: Every level of government is represented in things you use every day. So, which election will you participate in next? How will you help shape our society? To learn more about future elections or how to participate, 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.

Gray 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.