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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 April 9
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Like the proverbial frog brought slowly to a boil, we may be in for a very rude surprise after April 16.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 7
Kirill Kalinin inside the Russian embassy in Ottawa a few weeks before he was expelled from Canada. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It was a year ago Friday that the government of Canada declared Kirill Kalinin and three other Russian diplomats persona non grata and sent them packing.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 5
The debaters: From left to right, Jason Kenney, David Khan, Rachel Notley and Stephen Mandel (Photo: Screenshot).
David J. Climenhaga | There were no epic body slams. The closest thing to a memorable moment came in the low-stakes side battle between the leaders of the Alberta Party and the Alberta Liberals.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 4
UCP Drayton Valley-Devon candidate Mark Smith, cutting cake, with some of his supporters. Photo: Mark Smith/Facebook.
David J. Climenhaga | Even if Kenney were to do the right thing and kick him out, he'd be elected because it's now too late to get another UCP candidate on the ballot.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 3
Preston Manning in 2013 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | The Canadian right has turned its back on "green capitalism" and opted for belligerence and denial. This will not pay off for them.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 2
Jason Kenney on the campaign trail in a nice non-threatening Stephen Harper sweater (Photo: Jason Kenney/Facebook).
David J. Climenhaga | Jason Kenney wants to create "a rigged overtime system that employers will use to legally evade overtime payments," says Athabasca University labour studies professor Bob Barnetson.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 31
UCP Leader Jason Kenney, apparently wearing one of Stephen Harper’s old unthreatening sweaters, at Spruce Meadows south of Calgary yesterday.
David J. Climenhaga | Sorry, kid, you're going to have to take a pay cut to finance this right now. But, trust me, little buddy, you're going to love it!
Blog - Alberta Diary March 31
David J. Climenhaga | If Jeff Callaway, Jason Kenney and the UCP want us to believe their denials, shouldn’t they do as Mr. Trump did and hold their fire until the investigation is done?
Blog - Alberta Diary March 30
David J. Climenhaga | Milton James Rhode Acorn. Born on this day in 1923. Died on August 20, 1986. Named The People’s Poet by his peers.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 29
Alberta Opposition leader Jason Kenney delivers his health care policy (Photo: Screenshot of Facebook video).
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's health-care system has the lowest administrative costs in Canada -- it's already saved what Jason Kenney says his disruptive performance review will deliver.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 28
The Calgary General Hospital is exploded into rubble on Oct. 4, 1998, a symbolically spectacular example of Conservative mismanagement of health care in Alberta. Photo: Screenshot of video.
David J. Climenhaga | One of the features of the past four years in Alberta has been the remarkable calm in our normally tumultuous health-care system that has prevailed under the NDP.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 27
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith last night in the basement of Edmonton’s First Presbyterian Church, where public sector trade unionism got its start in Alberta 100 years earlier. Photo: David J. Climenhaga.
David J. Climenhaga | The struggle to protect the fundamental rights of working people to bargain collectively for their own good and the good of society continues today.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 26
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Photo: David J. Climenhaga.
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Premier Rachel Notley wants to make affordable child care "the medicare of the 21st century." UCP leader Jason Kenney wants to make schools safe for "basic religious freedom," meaning no GSAs.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 25
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley surrounded by supporters at yesterday's rally in Edmonton Photo: Marshall Boyd, used with permission.
David J. Climenhaga | "Here is Jason Kenney's argument in a nutshell," Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said: "His team made a terrible mess. We didn't clean it up fast enough. So fire us and put the old boys back in."
Blog - Alberta Diary March 24
Former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith in 2014
David J. Climenhaga | Danielle Smith's recent op-ed was certainly not the ringing endorsement of the UCP one would have expected from a former conservative Opposition leader at this moment.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 22
Neal Bernard Hancock, better known as "Bernard the Roughneck," is now the Freedom Conservative Party candidate in Grande Prairie. Photo: David J. Climenhaga.
David J. Climenhaga | Neal Bernard Hancock first appeared on the national scene in September 2016, when he appeared on Parliament Hill in coveralls and a hardhat, complete with streaks of grime on his face.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 21
Former MP Jason Kenney, now the leader of the United Conservative Party Opposition (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | For a government perceived to be campaigning from behind its principal challenger in popular support, the campaign didn't get off to a bad start for the NDP.
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.