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 March 19
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at the National Music Centre in Calgary (Photo: Screenshot of Facebook livestream).
David J. Climenhaga | Before a cheering crowd, diverse in every way, in the National Music Centre in Calgary, Rachel Notley was at her best -- charismatic, warm and yet coolly focused.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 19
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney at yesterday's news conference (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Peppered with questions for the better part of an hour, United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney never gave an inch. No contrition, no admission; an explanation for everything.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 18
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley at her nomination meeting in the Edmonton-Strathcona riding (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Inevitably, the ballot question for many Albertans in the election Premier Rachel Notley will call soon will be, "Can Jason Kenney be trusted?"
Blog - Alberta Diary March 17
David J. Climenhaga | Perhaps it's just me, but with each passing day Jason Kenney reminds me a little more of Richard M. Nixon, the talented but deeply flawed American president who in 1973 resigned from office.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 16
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney, in the midst of the Kamikaze Mission investigation whether he likes it or not.
David J. Climenhaga | Calls for Jason Kenney to resign as Opposition leader and for Alberta’s election to be delayed flooded social media on news the RCMP has taken over investigation of UCP leadership vote irregularities.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 15
Former MP Jason Kenney, now the leader of the United Conservative Party Opposition (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | All this hoo-haw on the right has been to keep everyone from doing what they really ought to be doing, to wit, speculating idly about the date of Premier Rachel Notley's election call.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 14
Brian Jean, back when he was Opposition leader (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | If it turns out Jason Kenney, who united Alberta's right, is so disliked by his former rivals that right-uniters like Brian Jean can become reconstituted vote-splitters, what does that say?
Blog - Alberta Diary March 13
Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May at Edmonton's The King's University on Friday, March 8, 2019 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | The leader of the Green Party of Canada says she would have summoned up the memory of Peter Lougheed, Alberta's first Conservative dynasty, but not the way the province's first NDP premier has.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 12
Photo: Chiloa/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Don't be surprised if we soon hear Trudeau uttering, as another tough old pol a lot of Canadians liked once did: "Just watch me!"
Blog - Alberta Diary March 12
Donald Trump giving his State of the Union Address in February. He didn’t even mention America’s burgeoning deficit (Photo: Shealah Craighead, the White House, Public Domain).
David J. Climenhaga | If Conservatives return to power in Alberta, our provincial deficit will soar to unprecedented levels as a result of planned program of tax cuts. But the deficit hawks won't even tweet.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 8
Jason Kenney and Randy Kerr not long ago, but in happier times (Photo: Facebook).
David J. Climenhaga | Lack of forthrightness is a UCP complaint that has proved useful before Randy Kerr's troubles came to light. A similar characterization was applied to former UCP bright light Derek Fildebrandt.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 7
David J. Climenhaga | The United Conservative Party also threatened yesterday to sue dissident Independent MLA Prab Gill for defaming the party in a complaint to the RCMP.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 7
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Announcing a full pharmacare program would have shifted the nation's attention immediately away from the hostile media frenzy the gong show before the House of Commons justice committee has become.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 6
David J. Climenhaga | If Jason Kenney were a minister of the government, it would be reasonable to demand his resignation for allowing such behaviour on his watch.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 5
Photo: Jason Kenney/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | We're not going to stimulate the economy by firing nurses and teachers. If we fall for this snake oil, we're just going to have to swallow it.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 5
Justin Trudeau at a rally. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | What makes anyone think voters will react to Justin Trudeau's alleged transgressions much differently that they did to Stephen Harper's?
Blog - Alberta Diary March 5
Pipeline workers on Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline. Image: Enbridge Line 3/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | One can be skeptical of claims a delay in Line 3 expansion is "a crushing setback for Canadian oil producers" while still recognizing the development is a political problem for Alberta's NDP.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 1
Photo: United Conservative Party of Alberta/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | John F. Kennedy observed that "where there is smoke, there is usually a smoke-making machine." There's enough smoke in this Kenney case though, you have to wonder if there's a fire.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 1
Photo: United Conservative Party of Alberta/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | The former UCP financial officer was fined $3,500 for donating the same sum "with funds given or furnished by another person."
Blog - Alberta Diary February 27
Jeff Callaway and Jason Kenney back in the day when they were running for the leadership of the UCP (Photo: United Conservative Party).
David J. Climenhaga | The manager of Jeff Callaway's 2017 campaign to lead the United Conservative Party was slapped with $15,000 in fines yesterday by Alberta's Election Commissioner for "obstruction of an investigation."
Blog - Alberta Diary February 26
Miranda Rosin, the UCP Candidate in Banff-Kannaniskis. (Photo: Screenshot of UCP video).
David J. Climenhaga | "We need to look at a two-tiered system, so that we can get those who have worked hard for their money to get out of the system if they would like to," says UCP candidate Miranda Rosin.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 25
New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh on a recent visit to Edmonton. Photo: David J. Climenhaga.
David J. Climenhaga | Count on it, the stars in the NDP firmament are moving into alignment for someone. But even if he wins tonight, it may not be Singh.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 23
David J. Climenhaga | Common sense suggests the NEB recommendation on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion is a small but significant step toward its completion. Don't expect any agreement on that.
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.