rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

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 August 20
David J. Climenhaga | The tendency on the right to try to criminalize dissent and dismiss fact as conspiracy, like forest fires in B.C. and California, is growing in intensity.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 17
AUPE members on strike, in July 1980 in defiance of premier Peter Lougheed’s no-strike legislation (Photo: Alberta Union of Provincial Employees).
David J. Climenhaga | While details are still scarce, this agreement with AUPE seems unlikely to give the opposition very much to get its critics' teeth into.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 16
Woman protests for a higher minimum wage. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | It's never a good idea to get your economic news from politicians with an axe to grind. Even so, some politicians are more likely to tell you the truth than others.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 11
Athabasca University President Neil Fassina. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J.Climenhaga | When you think about the state of negotiations between Athabasca University and its Faculty Association, remember it is no longer in financial peril.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 8
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, a few weeks before the October 2017 municipal election he won handily (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Panel members looking at polling during the 2017 Calgary municipal election also rapped the knuckles of Mainstreet Research, the company working with the Postmedia newspaper chain.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 7
David J. Climenhaga | Thanks to Saudi Arabia, our government has a chance to do the right thing. What could the Friends of Saudi Arabia, otherwise known as the Conservative Party of Canada, say, after all?
Blog - Alberta Diary August 6
David J. Climenhaga | Saudi Arabia is sending Canada's ambassador home. And if we don't shut up about their human rights abuses, they say they'll interfere in Canadian politics.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 6
David J. Climenhaga | Innovative? In 2011, the Conservatives actually started construction on the still-unfinished Grande Prairie hospital before they knew exactly what they planned to put inside it!
Blog - Alberta Diary August 2
Janis Irwin with Brian Mason in 2017 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Thanks to previous Alberta NDP leaders Brian Mason, Pam Barrett and Ray Martin, Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood is one of the safer ridings for the NDP in Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 1
Alberta Pollster Janet Brown (Photo: David J. Climenhaga)
David J. Climenhaga | Carleton University Journalism Professor Paul Adams, one of the three high-profile inquiry members, said this morning the surprise announcement leaves the panel "in a bit of a quandary."
Blog - Alberta Diary August 1
David J. Climenhaga | In 2017, the pollster that published optimistic results for the UCP yesterday admitted to "a catastrophic polling failure" in its coverage of the Calgary civic election.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 31
David J. Climenhaga | Surely it's time for us to start choosing genuinely progressive leaders whose boldness matches that of the unrepresentative right.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 28
Drumheller-Stettler United Conservative Party MLA Rick Strankman
David J. Climenhaga | It would seem some of UCP Leader Jason Kenney’s MLAs who should have known better have lived down to expectations.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 27
Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi
David J. Climenhaga | If the pipeline is so essential to the economic wellbeing of Canada, it belongs in the public sector. Permanently.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 25
Preston Manning, right, Godfather of the Canadian Right, with Ron Paul, at left, the batty uncle of the American right wing, at the 2013 Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | What happened? We grow old. Preston Manning, Godfather of the Canadian Right, is now 76. He has "stepped away" from his direct role in managing the effort.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 24
Derek Fildebrandt, speaking at the Manning Centre. Photo: Freedom Conservative Party/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | The Freedom Conservative Party interim leader's latest effort certainly had the desired effect of ginning up an enormous amount of media coverage.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 21
The Pincher Creek wind farm
David J. Climenhaga | One advantage Canadian conservatives enjoy is the willingness of many right-wing political parties in Canadian provinces to act in concert with their federal branch.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 19
Derek Fildebrandt (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | It's hard to believe Derek Fildebrandt does not view his repudiation by UCP Leader Jason Kenney as a deep personal betrayal.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 17
Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt listens to other bearded men in happier times (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Derek Fildebrandt is not a particularly sympathetic character, but in these circumstances, it's hard not to feel a little empathy for the fellow!
Blog - Alberta Diary July 16
Prab Gill, centre, with coffee and iPhone, along with members of both the NDP and UCP caucuses supporting oilsands pipelines last April (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Another UCP MLA bites the dust: Calgary-Greenway MLA Prab Gill is the latest in a parade of MLAs to leave the Opposition caucus for one reason or another.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 14
David J. Climenhaga | Canadian conservatives who campaign in future U.S. elections are going to need to be prepared to answer hostile questions from their compatriots.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 13
UCP leader Jason Kenney
David J. Climenhaga | As irritating as UCP triumphalism is to supporters of the Notley Government's policies in the wake of yesterday's by-election victories, there is no evidence yet it's not justified.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 11
Jason Kenney at a press conference in 2012. Photo: Rob Salerno/Daily Xtra/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | With the benefit of hindsight, the prime minister's 2016 remarks about Brexit sound prime ministerial, even statesmanlike. UCP Leader Jason Kenney's rather less so.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 9
David J. Climenhaga | Adopting a policy proposed by the United Conservative Party would be tantamount to declaring law-free open season on anyone who wanders onto an isolated property.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 6
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2013
David J. Climenhaga | Will the day come when it is acceptable for a Canadian Conservative politician to give a speech to a "freedom rally" put on by ISIS? Never say never!
Blog - Alberta Diary July 5
Soon-to-retire former NDP leader Brian Mason, now Alberta’s minister of transport, at yesterday’s news conference (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Brian Mason's last line at his news conference: "Let's call it a career, then. Shall we?" Exit, stage left. Not a dry eye in the house.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 4
Old Glory, the Star Spangled Banner, the current and probably terminal version of the national flag of the United States (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | We're not sorry! Independence Day 2018 demands from Canadians polite restraint, even chilly reserve, toward our neighbours.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 1
Entrance to the Sherwood Park Freeway (Photo: Found on the Internet, unattributed; modifications by the author).
David J. Climenhaga | I don't know how the Beaverton stays in business with the brutal competition they’re facing nowadays from Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 30
Former Canadian PM Stephen Harper with former U.S. president George W. Bush, in 2006 when Harper had a decent excuse to visit the White House
David J. Climenhaga | If Stephen Harper wants to serve his country in the conduct of foreign affairs, he needs to wait to wait until he is asked by the elected government of the day.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 29
David J. Climenhaga | A foot in the door. This is how the fight to destroy women's reproductive rights began in the United States, and this is how the social conservative right intends to see it start in Canada too.