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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 18
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks to media December 6, 2019. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Is Bill C-69 the "No More Pipelines Bill," as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says? Apparently not.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 18
Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer promises Alberta has a "unique fact scenario" to sway the courts in its fight against the federal carbon tax. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Kenney will take his war on Alberta's carbon tax to the Supreme Court, even as data shows the tax did not significantly harm the province's GDP. Meanwhile, his 'war room' takes on a local columnist.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 15
Maxime Bernier and Andrew Scheer. Image: Andrew Scheer/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Had he not left the Conservative party in 2018, Bernier would be a prime candidate for the party leadership after Scheer's departure.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 12
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Jason Kenney will run for Andrew Scheer's job. You'll know this is true if all of a sudden you don't hear much more about Alberta's non-negotiable demands from Confederation.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 12
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 | The voice of Alberta's oil industry, the $30-million "energy war room," stumbled out of the starting gate yesterday after a news conference graced by Premier Jason Kenney.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 11
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro, at right, poses with two surgeons and a patient at a private Calgary eye-surgery clinic yesterday. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The UCP's privatization plan might have a chance if the government is prepared to spend a lot of money to ensure wait lists for everyone are reduced. How likely do you think that is?
Blog - Alberta Diary December 11
A detail from Joe Versikaitis's portrait of former Alberta Speaker Bob Wanner. Image: Legislative Assembly of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | That former Speaker Bob Wanner accomplished this by turning to a "sports artist" -- Joe Versikaitis -- just goes to show one ought not to be snooty about such matters.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 10
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney with his cabinet. Image: Premier of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | No one visits Canada's capital just before Christmas expecting to get any business done with the government.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 8
Image: Jason Kenney/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | The Alberta premier has just added Moody's Investor Service to his growing list of public enemies, moments after it downgraded the province's credit rating for its dependence on fossil fuels.
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.

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