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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 June 3
David J. Climenhaga | The Sky Palace brouhaha diverted attention away from the troubling appointment of market-fundamentalist economist Jack Mintz to the board of Alberta Health Services.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 2
John A. Macdonald statue in Montreal. Image credit: Colin Knowles/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | No one is proposing that John A. Macdonald's name be erased from the pages of Canadian history or that we cease to study his role as Canada's first prime minister. Quite the contrary, in fact.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 2
G3 grain elevator in Manitoba. Image credit: Dave Shaver/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Don't worry, this isn't about dictator oil at all. It's only about dictator grain, in a manner of speaking, which is obviously a different matter entirely.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 31
The Kamloops Indian Residential School circa 1930. Image credit: Archives of the Oblate Order, Richelieu/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | As for the details and intent of the crime, if it marches like genocide, and talks like genocide, it is genocide.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 28
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's COVID-19 briefing. Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta via Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The claim that anyone opposing a recklessly fast re-opening is undermining public confidence in COVID vaccines is utter pish-posh, and Alberta's premier certainly knows it perfectly well.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 27
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's pandemic-reopening news conference. Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta via Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Sometimes fortune does favour the bold. More often it doesn't. It's just that foolhardiness looks better in the rear-view mirror because the fools who fail are usually soon forgotten.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 25
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney … at his computer. Image: Jason Kenney/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Albertans have learned that being good at clicking a tweet button, which UCP issues managers do scores of times every day, doesn't mean they have enough clicks to make a clack!
Blog - Alberta Diary May 25
Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta via Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | A normal government in normal times would be deeply concerned by the degree of dissatisfaction among teachers with Alberta's education minister. Not the UCP.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 24
Vancouver blogger Vivian Krause. Image: Vivian Krause/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | The justification for Jason Kenney's Alberta inquiry is unravelling before our eyes like a badly knitted sweater.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 21
 A boy on a bicycle with a Toronto Star newspaper carrier bag in Whitby, Ontario, 1940. Image credit: Marjorie Georgina Ruddy/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Yesterday's announcement by Postmedia, like the one in March by Torstar, is presumably a sign of just how well their deal to kill 36 Canadian newspapers and set up no-competition zones is working out.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 20
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's news conference on his government's "historic" jobs program. Image credit: Winston Pon/Office of the Premier via Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The justification for the Kenney government's 2019 election promise is starting to look a little threadbare, even if we do manage to learn the inquiry's conclusions before the start of 2022.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 19
Ron Liepert in his days in Alberta provincial politics. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | For years Ron Liepert, a former broadcaster who once served as Peter Lougheed's press secretary, was thought by many to have been the worst provincial health minister in Alberta history.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 18
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's COVID-19 news conference. Image: Screenshot of Alberta government video
David J. Climenhaga | COVID-19 "is not an urban-versus-rural issue," Premier Jason Kenney said yesterday. But that's exactly what his government has made it by harping on the supposedly unique virtue of rural folk.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 17
Former MP, federal minister and candidate for mayor of Edmonton, Amarjeet Sohi. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | If a pipeline to tidewater is as important to Alberta as folks around here seem to think it is, Amarjeet Sohi has done far more to make one a reality than Premier Jason Kenney ever did.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 16
Shell's Jackpine oilsands mine 75 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. Image credit: Julia Kilpatrick/Pembina Institute/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The report of the Alberta inquiry is due in two weeks. Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan has refused to confirm he won't have to ask for a fourth extension.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 14
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image credit: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | MLA Drew Barnes, who has been needling Alberta's premier for weeks, and Todd Loewen, who yesterday called for Kenney to resign, have been kicked out of the UCP caucus.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 13
Central Peace-Notley UCP MLA Todd Loewen. Image: Todd Loewen/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | If you wanted evidence the divisions in Alberta's UCP are real, this is it. The wheels are falling off the clown car.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 13
Alberta Speaker Nathan Cooper. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | NDP House Leader asks: why is the safety of Jason Kenney and his UCP MLAs more important than the safety of essential workers?
Blog - Alberta Diary May 12
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's COVID-19 news conference. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | The internet let out a collective gasp yesterday afternoon when Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was caught telling a monumental fib.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 11
Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu. Image credit: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Gaslighting, not to mention outright sabotage, has been a standard part of the Conservative repertoire in Canada for half a century. Of course they accuse others of the same thing.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 10
Calgary Police arrest political cleric Artur Pawlowski on Saturday for defying public health orders. Image: Screenshot of YouTube video
David J. Climenhaga | The latest arrests may not seem like much, but whatever the explanation they represent something of a sea change for the Kenney government and police.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 6
Edmonton Strathcona MP Heather McPherson during yesterday's emergency debate on COVID-19 in Alberta. Image: Screenshot of House of Commons video
David J. Climenhaga | Despite a string of daily news conferences intended to restore confidence in its foundering COVID-19 performance, the Kenney government appears to have lost control of the narrative.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 5
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at his 9.5-minute speaking appearance yesterday evening. Image: Screenshot of Alberta Government video
David J. Climenhaga | Unlike the premier, Opposition Leader Rachel Notley entertained questions from reporters, telling them it sounded as if Kenney was "making it up on the fly." It's hard to dispute that assessment.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 4
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's COVID-19 news conference. Image: Screenshot of Alberta Government video
David J. Climenhaga | Reporter: "How can you not shoulder some blame for things getting this out of hand?" Alberta Premier Jason Kenney: "I reject the premise of your question."
Blog - Alberta Diary May 3
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It would be fair to say, in that venerable Canadian political phrase, there was a fury in the land at the United Conservative Party's decision to cut and run in the face of bad COVID-19 news.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 2
Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's premier appears to be more worried about what a group of 17 COVID-denying UCP MLAs might do than the health of the province's citizens.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 30
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's COVID-19 news conference. Image credit: Winston Pon/Office of the Premier, Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | As for those "targeted regional measures," this is a misleading characterization. "Targeted regional exceptions" would be a more accurate term.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 29
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks to media about expansion projects at Calgary’s Rockyview General Hospital. Image credit: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | You'd have to be the premier of Alberta or a member of his UCP caucus not to think this is a catastrophe. If you want to set records as a province, these really aren't the kind you want to break.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 28
Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. Image credit: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It's reasonable to assume the committee is intended to provide and justify the excuses the UCP will need to keep Alberta out of what is sure to be an enormously popular program.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 27
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday's COVID news conference. Image credit: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | We Albertans are now living in a petri dish, an ongoing experiment in how well the Great Barrington Declaration really works. It doesn't look good.

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