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Alberta Diary

David Climenhaga, author of the Alberta Diary blog, is a journalist, author, journalism teacher, poet and trade union communicator who has worked in senior writing and editing positions with the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Calgary Herald. His 1995 book, A Poke in the Public Eye, explores the relationships among Canadian journalists, public relations people and politicians. He left journalism after the strike at the Calgary Herald in 1999 and 2000 to work for the trade union movement. Alberta Diary focuses on Alberta politics and social issues.

Blog - Alberta Diary February 22
Restaurant interior. Photo: Jonas de Carvalho/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Notwithstanding some higher costs, based on the facts it seems likely times for Alberta restaurateurs have never been better.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 22
A typical red brick rural hospital in Alberta, this one in the town of Black Diamond (Photo: Royalbroil/Wikimedia Commons).
David J. Climenhaga | Health-care management at Alberta Health Services is extremely lean by Canadian standards. If you cut it, as UCP Leader Jason Kenney proposes, front-line care will get worse.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 21
Photo: Andrew Scheer/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Andrew Scheer's tweeted observation about Louis Riel, while unique, was paradoxically not unusual.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 21
UCP Leader Jason Kenney, assiduously signing stuff (Photo: Twitter).
David J. Climenhaga | If Alberta elects a UCP government, we'll likely have to learn that lesson of what's wrong with private health-care delivery all over again, and every day will be Groundhog Day.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 19
Centre Block, Parliament Hill. Photo: Thomas Dimson/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | As was said of the Watergate scandal, the cover-up is usually worse than the crime. Expect revelations soon.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 18
Jason Kenney in 2013. Photo: michael_swan/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Encouraging "free votes" may seem odd for a leader who quick-marched his MLAs out of the legislature every time there was a vote on protest-free bubble zones around abortion clinics. But maybe not.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 17
David J. Climenhaga | It's not too late for Premier Rachel Notley's NDP Government to promise an August statutory holiday in the Throne Speech scheduled to be read on March 18.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 15
Transportation Minister and former NDP leader Brian Mason introducing TheTruthAboutJasonKenney.ca yesterday (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's NDP has published a website attacking Opposition Leader Jason Kenney's record as a federal Conservative MP, cabinet minster and social conservative activist.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 14
How to read a Restaurants Canada op-ed in the Calgary Herald -- with a pinch of salt. (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Last fall's report on Alberta's restaurant business by ATB Financial showed Albertans were spending record amounts in restaurants, and predicted they'd continue to do so.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 13
Workers in a steamy kitchen preparing food. Photo: John Legrand/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | UCP Leader Jason Kenney appears to be backsliding on a pledge not to lower the minimum wage in Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 12
Stephen Mandel regrets. Photo: David J. Climenhaga.
David J. Climenhaga | While this might mean Stephen Mandel ends his long political career on a sour note, it may be an opportunity to put the little party that never quite grew out of its misery.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 12
Social conservative activist and lawyer John Carpay before the doors of a courthouse. Photo: Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms
David J. Climenhaga | Will Jason Kenney stand by stand by John Carpay after he publicly stood by his inflammatory comparison of the Nazi swastika flag and Communist hammer and sickle banner to the rainbow Pride flag?
Blog - Alberta Diary February 9
Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel in a typical recent pose
David J. Climenhaga | The former Edmonton mayor and Progressive Conservative Party cabinet minister appears not to have filed his post-vote financial accounting paperwork in a sufficiently timely fashion.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 8
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland
David J. Climenhaga | It's just a matter of supply and demand. A big increase in supply, conveniently located for inexpensive ocean transfer, will depress the price fetched by Alberta oil.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 7
Former Alberta deputy premier and minister of employment and immigration Thomas Lukaszuk (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | The investigation centers on allegations by Amandeep Singh Panesar, a former temporary foreign worker, about labour abuses by Devinder Toor, the UCP candidate in the Calgary-Falconridge riding.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 6
The late Jim Prentice's official portrait as it was unveiled in the Alberta Legislature (Photo: Chris Schwartz, Government of Alberta).
David J. Climenhaga | Portrait of Jim Prentice by B.C. artist David Goatley is a more worthy contribution to the collection than several of the recent additions.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 5
David J. Climenhaga | It seems young politicians, no matter how serious, are publicly attacked for their youth -- unless they happen to be conservatives, in which case no shirt's too young to stuff.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 4
Part of the crowd at yesterday Bighorn Park open house in Edmonton (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Everything seemed copacetic at the Bighorn Wildland Provincial Park proposal open house in Edmonton on Saturday.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 1
Dr. Trevor Harrison, director of the Parkland Institute and co-author of Alberta in Context, Health Care Under NDP Governments (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | The facts don't support the myth New Democratic Party governments always try to break the bank with health-care spending.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 31
Supreme Court of Canada. Photo: Michael Muraz/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Stand by for a veritable tempest of wailing about "activist judges" from banking, oil industry and conservative quarters in response to this morning's ruling by the Supreme Court.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 30
The Supreme Court of Canada building in Ottawa (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta courts have ruled that banks come first and polluters can't be forced to clean up their messes if they go broke. We'll learn the Supreme Court's take on this tomorrow.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 29
Woman using a smartphone. Photo: Marco Verch/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | A Medicine Hat preacher doesn't seem to have appreciated the online attention his sermon attracted Sunday -- thanks to an ill-advised tweet by an inattentive UCP candidate in a pew.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 28
Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's Elections Commissioner is concerned someone is trying to interfere with his investigation into irregularities in the 2017 United Conservative Party leadership race.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 28
The original Al Rashid Mosque, which opened in 1938, is now located in Fort Edmonton Park. Photo: David J. Climenhaga.
David J. Climenhaga | UCP Leader Jason Kenney's tweets were well meaning, but the dog-whistling habit is apparently hard to break.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 25
Jason Kenney. Photo: Michał Józefaciuk/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Whether UCP leader Jason Kenney likes it or not, this story now has legs. Plus, developments are unlikely to be timed to suit his campaign schedule.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 24
Jason Kenney in 2011. Photo: FAQMP Ichannel/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Public anger at politicians who bill taxpayers for their living expenses when in reality they live close to their work is nothing new in Alberta. Abusive attacks on their critics are new.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 23
Presumed law-abiding gun owners shop at a gun show in Texas, where no records of sales are kept (Photo: M&R Glasgow, Wikimedia Commons).
David J. Climenhaga | Tactics used by gun advocates and their Conservative allies to fight the so-called long-gun registry have opened the door to discussion of an outright ban on handguns.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 22
Former MP Jason Kenney, now the leader of the United Conservative Party Opposition (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | If it is eventually decided no rules were broken in Jason Kenney's case, the House of Commons may want to tighten how it subsidizes MPs' secondary residences to protect Canadian taxpayers.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 22
Jason Kenney in his Calgary riding during the 2015 federal election (Photo: Facebook).
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Opposition leader Jason Kenney vigorously denies the allegations as UCP supporters heap abuse Ottawa lawyer Kyle Morrow on Twitter.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 22
This may be the advertisement with which the Canadian Taxpayers Federation ran afoul of Alberta’s third-party election advertising rules (Photo: Facebook).
David J. Climenhaga | The CTF has been disproportionately influential in Canadian political discourse because the mainstream media treats its pronouncements as if they were credible. Will a $6,000 fine change that?