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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 July 13
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | The echo chamber of UCP "issues managers" and press secretaries vilifies any doctor that talks back, and seems to be daring physicians to leave the province.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 10
Dave Rodney, still an MLA, in 2013. Image: David J. Climenhaga​
David J. Climenhaga | The former MLA who gave up his seat for Jason Kenney in 2017 is bound for a sinecure in Texas.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 9
NDP environment critic Marlin Schmidt. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The Alberta NDP should keep the spotlight shining where it's needed most -- including on Jason Kenney's determination to maintain a cozy space for racism in his government.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 8
Alberta Labour Minister Jason Copping addressing yesterday's "embargoed news conference" as "red tape reduction minister" Grant Hunter looks on. Image: Screenshot of Alberta Government video
David J. Climenhaga | Bill 32 has nothing to do with restoring balance in Alberta's workplaces. It's a wholesale effort to hamstring unions.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 7
Tyler Shandro during a June 25 news briefing. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Bill 30 opens the door to a higher degree of privatization and two-tier health care, and escalates the government's feud with Alberta's doctors.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 2
Image: Jason Kenney/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Four hours and two minutes after Kenney's Canada Day wishes were published yesterday, they mysteriously disappeared and were replaced by a darker message.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 30
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews at a press conference on June 29, 2020. Image: Government of Alberta video screenshot/YouTube
David J. Climenhaga | The United Conservative Party's re-election bid will likely rely on claiming Alberta's economy was doing just fine before COVID-19 hit.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 29
The government of Alberta offices in Edmonton, photographed before social distancing rules came into effect. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Since the plan involves employees being required to come into the office but to act as if they were still working at home, it's not at all clear what the point is.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 29
Premier Jason Kenney, Minister of Energy Sonya Savage and Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer announce the launch of a public inquiry into foreign-funded "anti-Alberta energy" campaigns in April, 2019. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Putting another $1 million and four more months into the Alberta government's effort may not be the best use of public money if the wheels are falling of the "anti-Alberta energy" inquiry.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 28
Jason Kenney's speechwriter, Paul Bunner. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Will the federal Conservatives have a different reaction to Paul Bunner's role in their party than Premier Jason Kenney has about his continued job in the premier's office?
Blog - Alberta Diary June 26
Energy Minister Sonya Savage at a press conference in April, 2020. (Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr)
David J. Climenhaga | Energy Minister Sonya Savage says the inquiry can have another $1 million and four extra months to look into Alberta's unsolved foreign-funded environmental campaigns mystery.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 25
Margaret Thatcher in York, England, in 1987. Image: christopher hogg/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Despite their superficial appearance of direct democracy, referenda have an anti-democratic effect.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 24
Image: Zbynek Burival/Unsplash
David J. Climenhaga | The study suggests the province's universities and the government agencies that fund them are helping to prolong the worst aspects of the fossil fuel era.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 23
AUPE president Guy Smith addresses media at the Edmonton Court House this morning as the union's lawyer, Patrick Nugent, looks on. Image: AUPE
David J. Climenhaga | AUPE president Guy Smith vowed to fight the UCP's Bill 1 all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, and to "defend any and all AUPE members or staff who are caught in the bill's cross-hairs."
Blog - Alberta Diary June 23
Image: Conservative Party/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Probably the last thing the Conservative Party of Canada needs right now is a battle over allegations of dirty tricks between the campaigns of its two leading candidates.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 22
Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Barnes needs to be kicked out of the UCP if Kenney is to retain any patriotic credibility elsewhere in Canada.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 18
Fair deal panel members, UCP MLAs Tany Yao, Miranda Rosin and Drew Barnes (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | The report suggests the Stephen Harper-Jason Kenney wing of Canada's Conservative movement is made up of patriots of convenience.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 17
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Get ready for your first look at Alberta's warmed over 20th anniversary commemoration of Stephen Harper's 2001 Alberta sovereignty-association manifesto.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 16
Athabasca University president Neil Fassina. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Athabasca University can enroll international students without them having to travel to Canada. If Jason Kenney harbours prime ministerial ambitions, he can try to sell that as a success for Canada.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 15
Demetrios Nicolaides explains his government's plan to overhaul Alberta's post-secondary education system in a video on June 12, 2020. Image: Demetrios Nicolaides/Screenshot of Twitter video
David J. Climenhaga | Promises by highly ideological governments to enact ambitious change in institutions they have targeted as hotbeds of opposition should be viewed with some distrust.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 12
Alberta's associate minister of natural gas and electricity, Dale Nally, at a press conference on May 6, 2020. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | After NDP MLA Marie Renaud criticized the UCP government's track record on LGBTQ rights for students, Dale Nally expressed his outrage in a letter to St. Albert's mayor.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 11
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney during his daily COVID-19 press briefing on June 9, 2020. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video/YouTube
David J. Climenhaga | No one in the Alberta government appears to be taking responsibility for deciding who in fact has a legitimate journalistic reason to attend government media events.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 9
Panelists at a March, 2020 "fair deal" panel town hall meeting. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has promised to release his "fair deal" panel's report next Monday, but it's not at all clear Albertans are going to like what they hear.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 8
Protesters gather at the Alberta legislature on Friday, June 5, 2020. Image: Photo by Olav Rokne, used with permission.
David J. Climenhaga | The size of the crowd is a telling sign of how troubled young people are by the institutionalized racism that continues to plague many countries -- including Canada.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 5
Jason Kenney giving a press conference in March 2020. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Passage of Alberta's Critical Infrastructure Defence Act demonstrates Premier Jason Kenney's contempt for the rule of law.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 1
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney during his COVID-19 speech in the legislature last week. Image: Screenshot of Alberta legislature video
David J. Climenhaga | In a speech in the legislature last week, Kenney referred half a dozen times to influenza, sometimes in ways that clearly tried to blur the distinction between the two respiratory diseases.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 29
A photo from 2017 in downtown Calgary, where there are still many empty office spaces. Image: Can Pac Swire/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The Alberta Investment Management Corp.'s first quarter report is due soon, and there's going to be bad news in it -- and probably more in later quarters.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 28
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health during yesterday's daily COVID-19 briefing. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta Video/YouTube
David J. Climenhaga | Dr. Deena Hinshaw told a reporter she hadn't "had the opportunity" to speak to the premier about the government's plan not to renew the state of public health emergency on June 15.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 27
Image: Senior Guidance/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Canadian nurses have been warning for years about the deteriorating situation in long-term care, and the potential for catastrophe.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 26
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage, at left. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | "Now is a great time to be building a pipeline because you can't have protests of more than 15 people," Savage told a podcaster at the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors.