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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 October 19
Jason Kenney and Erin O'Toole converse at the UCP's virtual 2020 AGM (Image: United Conservative Party/Twitter)
David J. Climenhaga | In an online Q&A, Kenney admitted that governments like his are going to have to be seen to be taking action on the environment if they expect bankers to loan any money to the oil and gas industry.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 16
Jason Kenney touting his staff's seven-per-cent pay cut during a press conference on October 15, 2020. Image: Jason Kenney/Screenshot of Twitter video
David J. Climenhaga | The cuts will hit political staff working for the government of Alberta, including press secretaries, chiefs of staff, junior policy advisors and other staffers in the premier's office.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 15
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro gives a press conference on October 8, 2020. Image: Tyler Shandro/Screenshot of Twitter video
David J. Climenhaga | The fiscal benefit of the cuts will be negligible, if not negative.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 14
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro at this morning's news conference. Photo: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | The UCP's promise to not layoff health-care professionals until after the pandemic is probably not going to keep those workers from thinking about moving to other jurisdictions.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 9
Scott Moe on the campaign trail on October 7, 2020. Image: Scott Moe/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Saskatchewan's media has had at least since 2016, when a 1992 charge surfaced, to ask further questions about the premier's driving record.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 8
RCMP parade in 2011. Image: Kat2Kat2/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The RCMP may be no paragon of liberalism and progressive enforcement, but they're apparently too liberal and progressive for the United Conservative Party.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 7
AFL president Gil McGowan. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's conservatives are no strangers to the idea of boycotting businesses -- or even whole provinces -- when the idea suits them.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 5
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews. Image: David J. Climenhaga​
David J. Climenhaga | A retracted statement in a local news outlet has prompted more questions about what the Alberta government is planning to do with assured income payments for the province's most vulnerable population.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 2
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney giving his "Alberta Day" address last September (Image: Jason Kenney/Screenshot of Twitter video)
David J. Climenhaga | It's safe to assume that there's no way Premier Jason Kenney will give Albertans two days off in September.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 1
Shane Getson with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in June, 2020. Image: Shane Clayton Getson​/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Getson insulted more than a million Albertans who were helped by the benefit in the face of the COVID disaster and expressed a level of contempt for working people.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 30
Rob Anders with an election sign in 2008 (Image: Rob Anders/Facebook)
David J. Climenhaga | Anders faces five separate charges related to tax evasion, mostly alleged to have taken place during the years he was in Ottawa.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 29
B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson on the campaign trail flanked by B.C. Liberal candidate Helen Poon. Image: Andrew Wilkinson/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Andrew Wilkinson, leader of the right-wing B.C. Liberals, is campaigning on a promise to cut the provincial sales tax.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 22
Premier John Horgan announces a snap election on September 21, 2020. Image: John Horgan/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | The snap election call has particularly upset the provincial Greens and right-wing B.C. Liberals.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 17
Jason Kenney unveils Alberta's economic recovery plan on September 15, 2020. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | As hostility to fossil fuel producers grows, it will be easier in the short term for a cynical politician like Kenney to persuade some Albertans that they need to double down against critics.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 11
Premier Jason Kenney unveils new cabinet appointees in August 2020. Image: Jason Kenney/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Columnist Allan Fotheringham once compared Conservatives to cream: "Rich, thick and full of clots." The Alberta government is living up to that description.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 1
Dr. Deena Hinshaw at yesterday's COVID-19 daily briefing. Image: Screenshot of Alberta Government video
David J. Climenhaga | Reaction to the revelation of the weekend order by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, was visceral.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 31
John A. Macdonald. Image: Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta separatists keen to depart from the rest of Canada were apparently horrified by the actions against the statue of this country's first prime minister.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 19
Members of the Canadian parliamentary press gallery in their offices in Ottawa in 1916. Image: Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Why do Postmedia's principles apply in Edmonton but not in Ottawa?
Blog - Alberta Diary August 18
Image: Lindsay Gibson/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Christian P. Champion's main qualification seems to be that his views on the use of history as a tool for shaping society are remarkably similar to Premier Jason Kenney's.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 17
Alberta minister Demetrios Nicolaides in April, 2020. Image: Demetrios Nicolaides​/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | UnemployedProfessors.com says on its website that "we only hire current and former academics or graduate students who teach their own classes."
Blog - Alberta Diary August 14
Members of the Alberta legislature press gallery at work. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Postmedia proved that the Alberta press gallery is an anachronism, primarily serving as a gatekeeper for a couple of perks for favoured journalists.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 12
Russia's Akademik Lomonosov. Image: TuomoS/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | There's a whiff of scam about efforts to promote the idea of a small reactor manufacturing industry, which wouldn't be located in Alberta anyway.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 11
Edmonton's Royal Alexandra Hospital. Image: Ian Stumpf/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Most of the Edmonton region's orthopedic surgeons would have needed to be on board for the private hospital idea to have legs. At least one of them evidently wasn't.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 10
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage and Premier Jason Kenney in Friday's video. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | The explanation for Friday's announcement, almost certainly, is the embarrassment wrought by the education minister's curriculum-review news conference the day before.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 7
Curriculum advisory panel chair Angus McBeath during his rambling remarks yesterday. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | No one who watched Adriana LaGrange's news conference on her plans for Alberta's K-12 curriculum yesterday could come away with the impression this province's education system is in capable hands.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 6
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage at a recent Keystone XL related announcement. Image: Chris Schwarz/Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's "war on unions" continues, but the United Conservative Party is happy about the creation of good union jobs in the States because, you know … pipelines!
Blog - Alberta Diary August 5
Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Public pressure for a safer school reopening got Jason Kenney's government to budge -- a little. The question is, will worried Albertans decide it budged enough?
Blog - Alberta Diary July 31
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro. Image: Chris Schwarz/Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Harsh words about Alberta's UCP by local elected officials in the party's rural heartland are extremely unusual. A fight over how to keep local doctors has sparked some in Pincher Creek.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 30
Jason Kenney and Jason Nixon with a big stack of paper yesterday. Image: Jason Kenney/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | How odd Alberta's red-tape-hating UCP, steeped in the anti-government rhetoric of the old Wildrose party, should be bragging about smothering the province in legislation.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 29
Deutsche Bank AG headquarters in Frankfurt. Image: Thomas Wolf/foto-tw.de/Creative Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Now that it's the government, Jason Kenney's United Conservative Party is strangely passive when foreign banks cut off the oilsands and environmental activists drag them into court.

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