If you smelled something unpleasant in Morinville Monday, it wasn’t necessarily Champion’s famous blend. Chances are it was a little sidewalk steamer Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk and his government left in the middle of Main Street. To be clear – we are referring here to a figurative little steamer and not a literal one, although one is as nasty as the next.
With the writ dropped without some closure on the Morinville school issue, Lukaszuk and the PCs have left us all to guess and speculate until such time as we mere municipal residents are deemed worthy of some sort of response. Given they all became mere candidates at 10 a.m. Monday morning, it is possible we will hear nothing until such time as the election is over, a government is formed, and an education minister is selected. Will that be Lukaszuk? Your guess is as good as ours.
Look, we understand that Lukaszuk got a lot of opinions at his town hall meeting in Morinville Mar. 15. We get that Bill 4 still needs to be proclaimed. We get that maybe Bill 2 needed to be passed as part of the grand plan, and that for good or for ill the Wildrose prevented that from happening before the election was called. We get all of that. We really do.
What we do not get is the government not having the decency to express common courtesy by standing up and telling this community, “Sorry, we hoped to get this done before the election, but we couldn’t. Here’s why.”
Regardless of where any individual member of the community stands on the school issue, we are all in the same boat now, rowing around in a sea of uncertainty, left to piece together clues from those of us Lukaszuk deems worthy of granting a reply to on Twitter.
Whether you think it is unfair that public school kids still have no school that has a gym, library and room for growth, or whether you think it is unfair that one of the four Catholic schools may be given over to another system, the real lack of fairness is in drumming up a community during a town hall meeting, giving 8,569 people hope that a resolution to this long, divisive issue was soon to be made, and then leaving an entire community hanging in the balance while politicians campaign to save their jobs for the next four weeks.
Perhaps an answer is forthcoming in the next few days, and if such is the case we will gladly eat crow. But to keep this community in the dark 12 days after we were told a decision on infrastructure would be made in a matter of days is disrespectful to every parent and every student in Morinville.
We cannot reasonably expect answers to be granted before proper decisions can be made, but we can expect politicians to give us a more public response to why “an answer soon” is not an answer given soon without having to piece together a theory from Lukaszuk’s Twitter tweets.