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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 July 19
Manitoba's legislature building in Winnipeg. Image: David J. Climenhaga/Used with permission
David J. Climenhaga | "It is gravely concerning that a private investigator was hired to conduct surveillance of a member of the judiciary, ostensibly to embarrass or intimidate the judge."
Blog - Alberta Diary July 16
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's news conference on referendums. Image: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's premier sounded very much like a fellow trying to think of a way to steal a hot stove when he mused about only allowing voters who agree with him to vote on a provincial police force.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 15
Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn during his mid-pandemic holiday in Mexico. Image: Facebook/Pat Rehn
David J. Climenhaga | Former Conservative PM Stephen Harper is reported to have been called in to give the fractious UCP caucus a lecture about the need to stick together and play nice.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 14
Lawyer John Carpay addressing an anti-mask rally in Calgary in November 2020. Image: David Climenhaga/Screenshot of YouTube video
David J. Climenhaga | Complaints about Carpay's shenanigans have been filed with the law societies of both Manitoba and Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 13
Social conservative activist and lawyer John Carpay before the doors of a courthouse (Image: Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms/distributed).
David J. Climenhaga | The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms' founder and president admitted yesterday it was he who hired a professional peeper to spy on the judge.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 12
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney flipping pancakes in Calgary Saturday (Image: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta).
David J. Climenhaga | It's astonishing that a hard-line market-fundamentalist party like the UCP doesn't seem to understand the law of supply and demand.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 9
Premier Jason Kenney leads some of his new cabinet ministers down the garden path (literally) at Government House yesterday -- visible from left to right, Kenney, Jason Luan, Ron Orr, Muhammad Yaseen and Rajan Sawhney. Image: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta.
David J. Climenhaga | Six of the eight newly assigned ministers represent Calgary ridings that would probably vote NDP if a provincial election were held tomorrow -- so needs must!
Blog - Alberta Diary July 8
Justin Trudeau and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Image: Screen shot of the news conference/rabble.ca.
David J. Climenhaga | The Kenney government confirmed yesterday it would fork over its share of the cash for the first phase of the LRT line opposed by many UCP supporters, but the premier skipped the PM's news conference.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 7
While their negotiators were demanding wage rollbacks from nurses, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Finance Minister Travis Toews were in full campaign mode, all dressed up to visit a construction site in northern Alberta yesterday. Image: Chris Schwarz/Alberta Government
David J. Climenhaga | In the end, the Kenney government didn't even wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to be truly over before it declared war on the province's registered nurses.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 6
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Politicians like Jason Kenney may start out thinking they own the fringe, but as we have seen frequently throughout history, sometimes the fringe ends up owning them.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 5
Justin Trudeau, all smiles, campaigning in Edmonton in October 2015. Image: David J. Climenhaga/Used with permission.
David J. Climenhaga | Bad Alberta polling numbers for the federal Conservatives suggest Liberals and New Democrats could make gains in the expected federal election. Is Jason Kenney to blame?
Blog - Alberta Diary July 1
Morinville's Roman Catholic Church burns Tuesday night (Photo: Twitter/Kim Smith, CTV).
David J. Climenhaga | If ever there was a moment in Canada's history for sober reflection, empathy and reconciliation, this Canada Day is it.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 30
Why couldn't mom and dad have named us Zeus and Apollo? Image: FOTO:FORTEPAN/Kölcsey Ferenc Dunakeszi Városi Könyvtár/Petanovics fényképek/Creative Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Why are so many children in Alberta named after gods? Why are Olivia and Jack among the province's top 10 baby names year after year?
Blog - Alberta Diary June 29
HMS Defender, in one piece, as it still is, thank goodness. Image: Hammersfan/Creative Commons.
David J. Climenhaga | Not much good can come from post-imperial naval misadventures -- but some ideas are definitely worse than others.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 28
NDP Opposition Finance Critic Shannon Phillips (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | The company's top managers were missing in action and the representative who did show up had few answers.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 25
Alberta NDP Labour Critic Christina Gray. Image: David J. Climenhaga/Used with permission
David J. Climenhaga | After being so rudely interrupted for so long by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Kenney government obviously hopes to get back to its agenda of snatching Albertans' retirement savings.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 23
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at his June 18 news conference (Photo: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta).
David J. Climenhaga | Historian and former political aide Christian Champion's fulminations against reconciliation are tendentious and inflammatory. Premier Jason Kenney is sticking with his ex-employee's curriculum work.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 21
Alberta Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan (Image credit: Lieutenant Governor of Alberta).
David J. Climenhaga | Inquiry commissioner Steve Allan sent formal notices to solicit a response from 40 organizations -- the identities of which are being kept secret.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 19
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro, both grinning, confirm what Albertans already knew -- we'll be reopening in time for the Calgary Stampede (Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta).
David J. Climenhaga | Delta variant or no variant, Alberta will be pulling the plug on almost all COVID-19 restrictions on July 1, Premier Jason Kenney confirmed Friday.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 17
Cancun: a destination prize offered to participants in Alberta's vaccine lottery. Image credit: Jorge Nava/Flickr.
David J. Climenhaga | Many Albertans' travel dreams seem to involve getting the hell out of the province and not coming back. This is particularly true of physicians from southern Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 16
Jason Kenney during his interview yesterday. Image credit: David Climenhaga/Screenshot of CBC news video
David J. Climenhaga | With his offensive commentary from 2011 and 2015 ricocheting all over social media last night, Alberta’s premier needs to swallow his pride, admit he was wrong and apologize.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 15
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro wilts in the sun as Premier Jason Kenney carries on about Alberta's vaccination lottery Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta.
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has a track record giving money away, and it's not very promising. On the other hand, it's only $3 million or so at risk with Lotto Vaxx.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 14
Jason Kenney in the 2010 Calgary Stampede Parade, back when he was Member of Parliament for Calgary Midnapore. Image credit: 5of7/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Ottawa is going to have to try to find a way to implement a vaccine certificate that can be used to protect those us who have been abiding by the rules.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 11
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's COVID-19 briefing. Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Given his history gambling away other people's money, it shouldn't come as a shock Jason Kenney has raised the possibility of a cash lottery for Albertans who sign up to get a vaccine shot.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 10
Keystone XL pipeline is no more. Image credit: Government of Alberta/Flickr.
David J. Climenhaga | Keystone XL is no more. This time, it seems like there's no coming back.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 8
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at the June 7 news conference (Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr).
David J. Climenhaga | The rebellion that now has UCP Premier Jason Kenney looking as if his career is on the ropes is strongly reminiscent of the circumstances that ended PC premier Alison Redford's political career.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 7
NDP Opposition Leader Rachel Notley addressing her party's convention Sunday afternoon (Image credit: Screenshot of NDP Facebook live video).
David J. Climenhaga | If returned to power, the former NDP premier vowed to transform Alberta into a powerhouse of renewable energy in North America and to introduce universal child care.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 7
Leela Aheer. Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta via Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Leela Aheer, the UCP's minister of culture, multiculturalism and status of women, also rejected the Alberta premier’s obsessive defence of John A. Macdonald.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 7
The Sky Palace dinner. Image credit: @TheBreakdownAB/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | "Looking at these photos it seems clear to me that several health restrictions were violated," Airdrie UCP MLA Angela Pitt boldly stated Friday on her Facebook account.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 4
The sky palace. Image credit: @TheBreakdownAB/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Dr. Deena Hinshaw stuck determinedly to her talking point: She wasn't there and therefore can't know how far apart the dinner goers were, no matter what those photographs tell our lyin' eyes.