Nation, 20 years is a LONG time.
Think back to what your life was like in 1990. Think about how you got from place to place - the mode of transportation. The route. The amount of time it took. Think about the communities that your friends and family live in today - were they around 20 years ago? What did the land they now live on look like in 1990? Was it farm land? The site of an older building or community, since knocked down? Were there even roads leading to the area? Where did you - or your kids - go to school? Is the school still there? Does it look radically different? Where did you play? Who was your doctor? Do they still practice? How did you get information - from an encyclopedia? From the public library? Did you have a bank card? Did you own a personal computer? Had you even heard the word "internet"? How did people get ahold of you when you left the house? Did any of your friends even own a "cordless phone", to walk around the house? Loonies were new, and you still carried $2 bills. The average price of a single family home in Calgary was under $130,000. How many television channels did you have?
In politics as well, 20 years can be an eternity.
20 years ago, Calgary had recently sworn in Al Duerr to his first term as mayor. Rookie MLA Ralph Klein was Alberta's Minister of the Environment, and Don Getty was the Premier, having just won his 2nd General Election with a 59-seat caucus, facing a 16-member New Democrat Official Opposition led by Ray Martin. Brian Mulroney was barely a year into his 2nd term as Prime Minister, leading a majority government of Progressive Conservatives. The Meech Lake agreement was dying, we were a year from the introduction of the 7% GST, and Jean Chretien had just won the leadership of the opposition Liberal Party of Canada.
That was 20 years ago. Today, life as we know it is much different. In some ways, it's better. In some ways, infinitely more complicated.
What I want to know, from you - the E.S. Nation - is what you want Alberta to look like 20 years from now.
In 2030, Alberta will celebrate its 125th birthday. Babies born today will be adults. Today's elementary school students will themselves be doctors, lawyers, mechanics, politicians, preachers and parents.
What will their world look like? Where will they live? Where will they go to school, and work, and how will they get there? Where will they recreate?
We engaged citizens, today, are the builders of that world. We can help create the Alberta in which our children, and their children, will thrive. But before we do that, we need to figure out what we want that future Alberta - that shining city on the hill - to look like.
So, I put it to you: What is your vision for Alberta in 2030?
You don't have to have an answer for everything, by any means. Maybe you just want to talk about the education system of Alberta in 2030. Maybe you're a nurse, and you really want to talk about health-care delivery. Maybe you just want to talk about democratic reform, or water storage, or sustainable practices, or the economy. Maybe your primary interest is in how our society in 2030 will interact with and incorporate our First Nations brothers and sisters. That's fantastic - please contribute to the vision.
You can respond in the comments box below, or via email to amishbuggyracing (at) gmail (dot) com. Responses will be reposted into the text of this post, or as separate posts themselves.
Remember: We did not inherit this province from our forefathers. We borrowed it from our children. Let's articulate a vision for the kind of province we want it to be in 20 years - for ourselves, and for them.
And then, let's build it.