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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 November 12
Image: Dan Williams/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Albertans aren't all for a private member's bill which would restrict reproductive rights. But don't count on the common sense or common decency of the UCP caucus to ensure the right thing gets done.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 11
Preston Manning in 2013. Image: David Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Good rarely results from Manning's interventions in politics, so don't expect positive results from his appointment by Jason Kenney to new "Fair Deal Panel."
Blog - Alberta Diary November 8
Political scientist Duane Bratt says Bill 207 shows the UCP is more like the Wildrose Party than the old Progressive Conservatives. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The private member's bill purports merely to support constitutional rights, but its purpose is clearly to wedge open the door for more restrictions on reproductive rights.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 7
Peace River MLA Dan Williams being sworn into office. Image: Dan Williams/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | This ploy is a well-understood part of the anti-choice playbook, so it seems likely the bill is an attempt to find a way to limit access to abortion services and contraception.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 5
Alberta's flag. Image: abdallahh/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Mainstream media needs to stop treating the leaders of the fringe Wexit movement as rock stars and credulously accepting their obviously ludicrous claims.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 1
Rob Anderson on the steps of the Alberta legislature during the period between his floor crossings to and from the Wildrose Party. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It looks as if Rob Anderson has found a new gig -- Alberta separation if necessary, but not necessarily Alberta separation.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 31
L-R: Terry O'Flynn (Alberta Enterprise Group), Rick More (Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce), Finance Minister Travis Toews, Todd MacKay (Canadian Taxpayers Federation), Sandip Lalli (Calgary Chamber of Commerce) and Janet M. Riopel (Edmonton Chamber of Commerce). Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Readers are advised to take Canadian Taxpayers Federation "reports" with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 30
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews speaks about budget 2019. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | After a four-year respite, it looks as if the days of perpetual chaos in Alberta's health-care system are about to return with a vengeance.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 29
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Big changes to public-sector bargaining introduced by Alberta's UCP government yesterday is likely to unleash a flood of litigation.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 27
Image: Mahkeo/Unsplash
David J. Climenhaga | If Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is serious about helping Alberta's fossil fuel industry, he'll need to adopt the NDP's social license strategy.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 25
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews reads the province’s budget speech yesterday. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's once again the poor little rich kid of Confederation, crying poverty, throwing its weight around, and careering from knee-jerk austerity to pre-election profligacy.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 24
Alberta Minister of Finance Travis Toews puts on his cowboy boots in preparation for the release of the budget. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | If you're not going to raise revenues, the millions required for inquiries, snitch lines, war rooms and constitutional jiggery-pokery have to come from somewhere.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 23
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It's clearer every day Jason Kenney views the equalization referendum idea, on its face constitutionally meaningless, as a thinly disguised sovereignty-association vote.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 22
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | If Jason Kenney is heading back to Ottawa -- as long rumoured in the event Andrew Scheer should lose, which he now has -- the Liberals should take him seriously.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 21
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. Image: Andrew Scheer/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is making up parliamentary conventions to suit himself, and Albertans are likely to be angry no matter the outcome of today's federal election.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 19
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist, at the start of a large march through Edmonton yesterday. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It would have been a remarkable accomplishment for any group to summon a throng of the size that enthusiastically greeted 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg in Edmonton.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 18
Heather McPherson, the federal NDP's candidate in Edmonton Strathcona, and former Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason. Image: Heather McPherson for Edmonton Strathcona/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Former Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason didn't mention Notley by name, but her recent suggestion she might not vote NDP because of the federal party's pipeline policy obviously didn't impress him.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 17
Sixteen-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg in Calgary yesterday. Image: Druh Farrell/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Sixteen-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg will lead a lunch-hour march tomorrow from a downtown Edmonton park to the nearby Alberta legislature.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 17
Michael Kalmanovitch back in the day, campaigning for the Green Party of Canada. Image: Michael Kalmanovitch for Edmonton Strathcona/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Within hours of Michael Kalmanovitch's announcement he was dropping out, the Greens issued a statement saying he was is no longer a member of the party.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 15
Doug O'Halloran, 1952-2019. Image: Dave Cournoyer
David J. Climenhaga | A statement from UFCW 401 president Thomas Hesse and secretary treasurer Richelle Stewart said, "it is hard to express how saddened we are by the loss of our great brother, Douglas."
Blog - Alberta Diary October 15
Heather McPherson, the federal NDP candidate in Edmonton Strathcona. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Does the Mainstreet poll of voter intentions in the Edmonton Strathcona federal riding indicate a real trend, or is it an outlier for whatever reasons?
Blog - Alberta Diary October 14
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. Image: Anders Hellberg/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Environmental activist Greta Thunberg appears content to give the Kenney government a few days to work itself into a full-blown swivet before she announces her Alberta itinerary.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 13
Greta Thunberg. Image: European Parliament/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | At the time this was written, no one in Alberta seems to know when or where Thunberg will arrive.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 12
Alberta Labour Minister Jason Copping. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | It's unclear whether the client in these circumstances would be the union member on the line or the Government of Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 11
Alberta Energy Minister and Canadian Energy Centre Ltd. Director Sonya Savage, at left. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Structuring Alberta's "energy war room" as a private corporation to avoid FOIP requests sounds like a shady dodge; Kenney government says "foreign-funded special interests" made them do it.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 10
Tom Olsen. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The new managing director of the Kenney government's renamed "Canadian Energy Centre" ran unsuccessfully for the United Conservative Party in Calgary in last April's election.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 9
Still from debate livestream. Image: YouTube
David J. Climenhaga | Another Conservative innovation: the faux riposte response to a question that wasn't asked. It's not a debating technique.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 8
Reakash Walters nominates Rachel Notley as the NDP candidate in 2015, shortly before the NDP's historic majority victory. Image: Provided by Reakash Walters
David J. Climenhaga | If you have progressive views, you don't have to be living outside Alberta to feel out of touch with Alberta politics nowadays.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 7
Environmental Defence Canada's executive director Tim Gray at a recent panel in Edmonton. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Environmental group's report asserts the fossil fuel industry's well-funded lobby is the single biggest barrier to effective climate action being taken by Canada.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 4
Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer, when he was a starship captain … really! Image: Andrew Scheer/Flickr.
David J. Climenhaga | Who knew that the Conservative leader would turn out to have a trunkful of dirty little secrets, with the emphasis on little?

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