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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 December 6
Journalist Nora Loreto. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Every Canadian should read Nora Loreto's essay in the National Observer -- and every Canadian man should read it in a spirit of reflection and honest self-examination.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 3
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews speaks about budget 2019. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The UCP's public disparagement of nurses is a troubling development, which shows just how cocksure the party is right now as it sets about dismantling public health care.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 1
Image: United Nurses of Alberta/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Widespread privatization, shuttered health care facilities, and service cuts are all in Kenney's cards as Alberta's government breaks earlier promises on health care.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 28
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | We're not just going to build a firewall, we're going to build two firewalls, with lots of pipelines running through them, and you're going to pay for them!
Blog - Alberta Diary November 27
CN Rail grain train at Spences Bridge, B.C. Image: Mick Hall/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Don't look for any Conservative to confess they were wrong about the CN rail strike. Admitting error -- even when it's blatantly obvious -- is just not in their political DNA.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 26
In what is again becoming a typical Alberta scene, workers, this time unionized nurses, protest Kenney Government policies at the Alberta Legislature last week. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | If Canadian charter rights stand in the way of the objective of silencing unions, Alberta's UCP seems prepared to bulldoze them.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 26
Image: Jason Kenney/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | There's nothing like a good-natured rivalry to raise spirits during a government-inflicted recession. David Climenhaga bets Edmontonians can do a better job booing Jason Kenney than Calgarians.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 24
Teamsters Canada Rail Conference strikers at the Alberta legislature last week. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Conservatives demanding train workers return to work with no change in their collective agreement are also demanding that they continue to risk their lives.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 22
UCP cabinet member Grant Hunter. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It's clear Grant Hunter can't be depended upon to exercise the best judgment when choosing metaphors to explain what he's trying to say.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 21
Opposition leader Rachel Notley, on the steps of the Alberta legislature building yesterday. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | "I'll keep telling it like it is," vows Alberta Opposition Leader Rachel Notley, kicked out of the Alberta legislature for calling the UCP house leader a liar.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 20
Image: Connor Turner/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | There is only one way to revive honest journalism in Alberta and that is for progressive democrats to put up the money to found a major internet news site employing real journalists.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 19
 Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and cabinet swearing-in ceremony, April 30, 2019. . Image: Ian Jackson/Premier of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | If you're shocked that Jason Kenney's government has effectively just fired Lorne Gibson, the guy who's been investigating the sleazy kamikaze campaign, you haven't been paying attention.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 19
Alberta Teachers Association associate communications coordinator Jonathan Teghtmeyer. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | If Alberta Premier Jason Kenney could just pull out of the Canada Pension Plan without so much as a by your leave, he would.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 15
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announces the launch of a public inquiry into foreign-funded anti-Alberta energy campaigns. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Whatever led to inquiry commissioner Steve Allan's decision to use a law firm that employs his son, it doesn't pass the traditional political sniff test.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 14
Prince Rupert waterfront. Image: A.Davey/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Let's lop off the top half of British Columbia and give it to Alberta! It might be the only way to save the country, dontcha know?
Blog - Alberta Diary November 12
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | How much of the UCP's radical project to transform Alberta into a dystopic firewalled statelet was predicated on a Conservative victory in last month's federal election?
Blog - Alberta Diary November 12
Image: Dan Williams/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Albertans aren't all for a private member's bill which would restrict reproductive rights. But don't count on the common sense or common decency of the UCP caucus to ensure the right thing gets done.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 11
Preston Manning in 2013. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Good rarely results from Manning's interventions in politics, so don't expect positive results from his appointment by Jason Kenney to new "Fair Deal Panel."
Blog - Alberta Diary November 8
Political scientist Duane Bratt says Bill 207 shows the UCP is more like the Wildrose Party than the old Progressive Conservatives. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The private member's bill purports merely to support constitutional rights, but its purpose is clearly to wedge open the door for more restrictions on reproductive rights.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 7
Peace River MLA Dan Williams being sworn into office. Image: Dan Williams/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | This ploy is a well-understood part of the anti-choice playbook, so it seems likely the bill is an attempt to find a way to limit access to abortion services and contraception.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 5
Alberta's flag. Image: abdallahh/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Mainstream media needs to stop treating the leaders of the fringe Wexit movement as rock stars and credulously accepting their obviously ludicrous claims.
Blog - Alberta Diary November 1
Rob Anderson on the steps of the Alberta legislature during the period between his floor crossings to and from the Wildrose Party. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It looks as if Rob Anderson has found a new gig -- Alberta separation if necessary, but not necessarily Alberta separation.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 31
L-R: Terry O'Flynn (Alberta Enterprise Group), Rick More (Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce), Finance Minister Travis Toews, Todd MacKay (Canadian Taxpayers Federation), Sandip Lalli (Calgary Chamber of Commerce) and Janet M. Riopel (Edmonton Chamber of Commerce). Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Readers are advised to take Canadian Taxpayers Federation "reports" with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 30
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews speaks about budget 2019. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | After a four-year respite, it looks as if the days of perpetual chaos in Alberta's health-care system are about to return with a vengeance.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 29
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Big changes to public-sector bargaining introduced by Alberta's UCP government yesterday is likely to unleash a flood of litigation.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 27
Image: Mahkeo/Unsplash
David J. Climenhaga | If Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is serious about helping Alberta's fossil fuel industry, he'll need to adopt the NDP's social license strategy.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 25
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews reads the province’s budget speech yesterday. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's once again the poor little rich kid of Confederation, crying poverty, throwing its weight around, and careering from knee-jerk austerity to pre-election profligacy.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 24
Alberta Minister of Finance Travis Toews puts on his cowboy boots in preparation for the release of the budget. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | If you're not going to raise revenues, the millions required for inquiries, snitch lines, war rooms and constitutional jiggery-pokery have to come from somewhere.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 23
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It's clearer every day Jason Kenney views the equalization referendum idea, on its face constitutionally meaningless, as a thinly disguised sovereignty-association vote.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 22
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | If Jason Kenney is heading back to Ottawa -- as long rumoured in the event Andrew Scheer should lose, which he now has -- the Liberals should take him seriously.

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