There is a shipload of Albertans interested in education, and the Minister of Education has encouraged all of us to board a vessel he is steering into unknown waters. I think the waters are as unfamiliar to him as they are to us.
Don’t get me wrong. I think this is a voyage of exploration that needs to be made. We have pretty much exhausted the soil we have tilled for many years.
We do face four challenges. We will be sailing off the edge of familiar maps, into realms marked ominously with the words “There be dragons”. We begin our journey on a pretty rudimentary raft, and we are trying to construct an ultra-modern catamaran as we proceed. But all of us, including the crew, have experience only with designing, building, and operating sailing ships. Before the Minister can get us to open waters, he must navigate dangerous channels made more dangerous by changing tides and unreliable markers.
In the midst of all this, the most excited of us have questions. Mostly, they relate to citizenship, community, and democracy.
What is our role in this venture? What are we trying to attain? What are our obligations to others? What is the process by which decisions are made, and implemented?
Starting Sunday evening and continuing all day Monday and Tuesday, about 1,000 Albertans will be challenged by the Minister and the project and the promise. We will learn a lot about ourselves.