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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 June 7
Saskatchewan Union of Nurses president Tracy Zambory. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Whatever the people of Alberta concluded in April, it sure seems as if a belligerent "war room" strategy is not the best way to get pipelines built and restore the so-called Alberta Advantage.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 5
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment President Courtney Howard speaks yesterday in Fredericton as University of Saskatchewan professor Wanda Martin listens. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | To critics who advise nurses and doctors concerned about climate change to stay in their lane, they have an easy answer: the health impacts of fire, drought, and famine are right in their lane.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 3
St. Albert-Edmonton Conservative MP Michael Cooper. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | My guess is St. Albert is going to continue to be embarrassed by Michael Cooper. Pity.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 31
Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Premier Jason Kenney at the swearing in of Alberta's cabinet. Photo: Government of Alberta/Flickr​
David J. Climenhaga | The respected Canadian Institute of Health Information says Alberta Health Services has the lowest administrative costs in health care in Canada.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 30
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage talks to reporters at the foot of Parliament Hill. Photo: Sonya Savage/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Is "Ottawa, we have a problem" on those Tory blue advertisements about a pipeline, or a government? If the latter, why are our tax dollars paying for it?
Blog - Alberta Diary May 29
Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It's hard to understand why this is happening when the best way out of this mess for everyone would be to appoint a special prosecutor and step aside.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 28
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Labour Minister Jason Copping, in shirtsleeves. Photo: Screenshot of news conference
David J. Climenhaga | Canadians don't elect Conservative governments to be empathetic. They elect them to squeeze people they resent. In this regard, the UCP is performing to specifications.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 27
Quebec Premier François Legault. Photo: XVIIe Sommet de la Francophonie à Erevan
David J. Climenhaga | History in the era of global climate change: one has the feeling that this time Alberta Premier Jason Kenney's not going to come out on the right side of it.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 27
An undated stock photo of work on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Photo: Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Since it has now been clearly established that B.C. cannot control what goes through a federally regulated pipeline, a strong argument can now be made that neither can Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 26
Photo: Premier of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Ironic it is. But was the Edmonton Journal's editorial something to do with NDP MP Charlie Angus's letter to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, or just coincidence?
Blog - Alberta Diary May 24
A wildfire at Loon Lake on the Ashcroft First Nation Reserves in British Columbia in 2017. Photo: Shawn Cahill/Creative Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Think of climate obstructionism in Alberta today as a three-legged stool. Postmedia is one leg, the Kenney government another, and fossil fuel industry lobby groups the third.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 23
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, channeling Ralph Klein, arrives in the legislative building's rotunda after the throne speech. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | If you were paying attention during the campaign, you've heard most of the United Conservative Party's first throne speech before. The interesting stuff was between the lines.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 23
Nathan Cooper in campaign mode. Photo: Nathan Cooper/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Back in 2015, Alberta's new Speaker said asking MLAs to come to work an hour earlier, at 9 a.m., two days a week showed "blatant disrespect for the Opposition."
Blog - Alberta Diary May 21
Dale the street preacher, in a reflective moment away from the streets of Edmonton. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | "After five years, the only time that I feel normal is when I'm on that box preaching" -- Dale the street preacher.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 21
Jason Kenney. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Postmedia trying to get its snout into the "war room" trough is interesting, even amusing. But the bigger story will be the boondoggle to come.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 20
The former state-of-the-art Deerfoot Trail headquarters of the literally failing Calgary Herald. Photo: David J. Climenhaga.
David J. Climenhaga | A day never passes that the same UCP-Postmedia stenographers who openly campaigned against Rachel Notley don't also attack Justin Trudeau.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 17
Campground in Vermilion, Alberta. Photo: Provincial Archives of Alberta/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | The UCP strategy for waging the war on the war on fun is re-admitting copious amounts of booze to Alberta's provincial parks on long weekends.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 16
Vice-Admiral Mark Norman hands over a plaque to the commander of the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations (Photo: Julianne F. Metzger/U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons).
David J. Climenhaga | None of us knows whether Vice-Admiral Mark Norman is guilty of the crime with which he was charged. Pardoned by the president, Lord Black may now exit the Dominion.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 15
The amusing staged photo of part of UNA's bargaining team that accompanied the union's news release yesterday. Photo: United Nurses of Alberta.
David J. Climenhaga | If you care about health care, you've got to have a bad feeling about how this is all going to end.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 14
MLA Shannon Phillips. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's 24 NDP Opposition MLAs were sworn in yesterday and Opposition leader Rachel Notley, not so long ago the province's premier, named the MLAs who will fill her shadow cabinet portfolios.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 13
Alberta Party Leader Stephen Mandel. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Don't assume just because Canadian Conservatives eliminated per-vote subsidies that Jason Kenney and the UCP won't reverse course completely on the idea of a subsidy for the Alberta Party.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 12
Image: Screenshot of Veteran's Affairs video
David J. Climenhaga | Maybe the confusion of the Department of Veterans Affairs' video editors is more understandable than we 21st-century Canadians would like to admit.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 10
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro with Premier Jason Kenney at cabinet swearing-In ceremony. Photo: Premier of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | When it opted to build a $590-million "superlab" in Edmonton, Alberta's former NDP government was relying on sound advice from the Health Quality Council of Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 10
The anti-reproductive-rights march in Edmonton. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | In at least some cases, busing costs appear to have been paid by school districts -- as were the costs of substitute teachers to hold classes for students who didn't participate.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 9
Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May and Paul Manly. Photo: Paul Manly/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | It's no longer hard to imagine a Green tsunami on the West Coast as voters there, disillusioned by unkept Liberal and NDP promises, shift their support to May's Green Party.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 8
Jason Kenney with his "blue ribbon" panel. From left to right: Mike Percy, Dave Mowat, Travis Toews, Janice MacKinnon, Kenney, Kim Henderson, Jay Ramotar, and Bev Dahlby (Photo: Government of Alberta).
David J. Climenhaga | Brace yourselves, people. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has announced his "blue ribbon" panel to do a "deep dive" into the province's books and figure out how to get them into the black.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 7
Photo: WinterE229 (WinterforceMedia)/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | The plan in a nutshell: blame Ottawa; say you're doing something; if the problem gets fixed, take credit; if not, assign blame again.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 5
Former Alberta premier Rachel Notley, now the leader of the Opposition, addresses the Alberta Federation of Labour's convention in Calgary yesterday
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's new Opposition leader did not give the impression of a person who has given in to despair, or who is ready to wrap herself in a blanket and start rewatching Game of Thrones.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 4
David J. Climenhaga | On the question of his housing claims while an MP, Jason Kenney has only been vindicated in the way U.S. President Donald Trump was vindicated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 2
British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks to media in the rose garden of the Legislature Building in Victoria. Photo: Province of British Columbia/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | There may be an argument for Canadian refineries to buy "ethical" Alberta oil, but giving Alberta governments the opportunity to turn the taps on and off to achieve policy goals sure undercuts it.

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