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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 September 27
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, before it was evident just how bad his government was going to be at dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic (Photo: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta).
David J. Climenhaga | Since Alberta Premier Jason Kenney learns nothing and forgets nothing, a hard lockdown now seems all but inevitable.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 26
Michael Kovrig (centre left) and Michael Spavor (centre right) arrive in Calgary last night (Photo: Twitter/@Justin Trudeau).
David J. Climenhaga | One would almost think from the reporting last night that China was the only country taking hostages in this tangled affair.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 23
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Threatened with a vote of confidence yesterday by his rebellious United Conservative caucus members, Jason Kenney bluffed the lot of them into silence.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 22
Alberta's new health minister, former labour minister Jason Copping, is sworn into his new position on Sept. 21. Image: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Jason Kenney seemed to make it clear at yesterday's COVID news conference that he has no intention of going without a fight. A mandatory, in-person UCP caucus meeting is scheduled to take place today.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 20
People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier. Image: Maxime Bernier/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Have the zealots who could always be counted on to get out and vote for the Conservatives abandon Erin O'Toole and the CPC for Max Bernier's People's Party of Canada?
Blog - Alberta Diary September 20
Preston Manning in 2013 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | The punditocracy is already acting as if Justin Trudeau and his Liberals will squeak back into power. It sounds as if Preston Manning, godfather of the Canadian right, is leaning the same way.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 17
Jason Kenney flips pancakes at the Calgary Stampede. Image: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The O'Toole Conservative campaign has three days to come up with a strategy to remedy Jason Kenney's reverse Midas touch.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 16
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's public health emergency news conference (Photo: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video).
David J. Climenhaga | What a train wreck! The Best Summer Ever has now officially become the Worst Fall Possible.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 15
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Richmond, B.C., yesterday putting Jason Kenney’s record at the centre of the last days of the federal election campaign. Image: Video still/David Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | All that effort keeping his head down for all but a couple of days over the past five weeks while Alberta's health care system appeared to fall apart, and here we are.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 14
Government House Leader Jason Nixon, vice chair of the legislature's priorities committee, refuses to consider the idea of vaccine certification strategy. Image: David Cournoyer/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Jason Kenney's problem, largely of his own devising, is that so much of the UCP's support base is made up of COVID vaccine skeptics, dodgers, deniers and refuseniks.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 13
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney opens Canadian Energy Centre Ltd. on Dec. 11, 2019. Energy Minister Sonya Savage is at left, CEC Ltd. CEO Tom Olsen at right. Image: video still/Captured by David Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Canadian Energy Centre Ltd., better known as Alberta's "Energy War Room," has not registered with Elections Canada as a third party.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 10
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro at yesterday's news conference (Photo: Screenshot of Alberta Government video).
David J. Climenhaga | Alas, vaccine refuseniks are the heart of the United Conservative Party's base, and a significant part of its Legislative Caucus. In other words, they are driving the train.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 9
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews, front-man for both the UCP’s nurses' wage rollbacks and teachers' pension policies (Photo: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta).
David J. Climenhaga | This fight is not over. The government still wants to eliminate lump-sum payments that would cost nurses about two per cent in annual salary, and it seeks significant changes to contract language.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 8
Jason Kenney gives an update on COVID-19 on Sept. 3. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Neither Alberta Premier Jason Kenney nor whoever operates his normally frenetic Twitter account has tweeted anything since Friday. His Facebook account has also been inactive for four days.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 7
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at Friday's news conference (Photo: Screenshot of Alberta Government video).
David J. Climenhaga | Jason Kenney plans to give a $100 gift card to vaccine-hesitant Albertans who agree to get a jab. Citizens who did the right thing and got vaccinated already get bupkes. There is a fury in the land.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 3
Kenney visits an ICU in July. Image: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | If the Kenney government can't put the pandemic behind it before the next election, it represents an existential threat to the United Conservative Party.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 2
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney during his re-emergence on Facebook yesterday. Image: Video still/Jason Kenney/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Media are cut out of Alberta premier's first online appearance after 23 days of silence. Also, new Alberta Party leader appointed.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 1
Health Minister Tyler Shandro and AHS CEO Verna Liu at a 2020 press conference. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Health Services CEO Verna Yiu said yesterday all AHS employees, physicians and contracted health care providers will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 31
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney -- walking into the sunset, or what? (Photo: Chris Schwarz, Government of Alberta).
David J. Climenhaga | You'd think Jason Kenney's dereliction of duty at a moment of genuine crisis in Alberta's history would be a matter of journalistic inquiry. Apparently not.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 30
Lethbridge-East MLA and United Conservative Party caucus chair Nathan Neudorf (Photo: Nathan Neudorf/Facebook).
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's COVID-19 strategy continues to move deeply into full-blown implementation of the discredited Great Barrington Declaration.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 27
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, as he appeared the last time he was seen in public (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).
David J. Climenhaga | Meanwhile, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu yesterday announced the appointment of a "chief firearms officer" to subvert enforcement of federal gun control legislation.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 26
Jumbled green numbers in vertical lines on a black background, representing internet code. Image: Jae Rue/Pixabay
David J. Climenhaga | With the door left open for the cryptocurrency speculators to restart, what is the Alberta government going to do about it?
Blog - Alberta Diary August 25
Jason Kenney hoists a glass of something with Labatt's CEO Kyle Norrington at the brewer's Edmonton facility on Aug. 9, that last time anyone saw the Alberta premier in person (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).
David J. Climenhaga | Premier Kenney will need to resurface soon, or darker theories than the amusing ones now in circulation will begin to gain credence.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 24
Erin O'Toole meets workers in Ontario. Image: Erin O'Toole/Flickr.
David J. Climenhaga | "Mr. O'Toole's record is one of attacking workers and weakening unions," said CLC president Beatrice Bruske. "His opportunistic rhetoric and empty promises today do nothing to change that."
Blog - Alberta Diary August 23
Mr. COVID holds up a newspaper that reads "Kenney defeats COVID." [Parody image]. Image: @ArtSifton/Twitter/Used with permission.
David J. Climenhaga | No wonder Alberta's premier and health minister seem to have gone into hiding -- supposedly on vacation, but with no one left to mind the wheelhouse of the ship of state.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 22
NDP leader Jack Layton on March 26, 2011, during one of his last visits to Edmonton during that year's campaign. Image: David J. Climenhaga/Used with permission
David J. Climenhaga | Many felt that had the campaign of 2011 lasted a few days more, the orange wave Jack Layton surfed could have carried the NDP to victory.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 20
Jagmeet Singh (left) meets with health-care workers in Edmonton on Aug. 19. Image: Jagmeet Singh/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | It seems likely we'll be hearing lots more about Jason Kenney and his many failings, and not just in Alberta, before the federal election on Sept. 20.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 19
Rumoured would-be Alberta Parliamentary candidate Derek Sloan. Image: Derek Sloan/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta has surpassed its quota of right-wing nut-jobs from Ontario, thank you very much. We're full! And as for you, my fellow Albertans, stop voting for these people, would you?
Blog - Alberta Diary August 18
The University of Lethbridge -- now able to demand proof of vaccination and make students wear non-medical masks. Image: Josh*m/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Looks like masks and restrictions on university students' freedom to infect their fellow scholars with respiratory illnesses will have to remain in place at least until the federal election.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 17
Alberta's Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. Image: Alberta newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Grounds for suspicion maybe, but ethics commissioner says unreliable memories prevent conflict finding against Alberta education minister.