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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 October 1
Prime minister Pierre Trudeau and Alberta premier Peter Lougheed in 1977. Image: Government of Alberta
David J. Climenhaga | Punching unpopular pipeline corridors from Fort McMurray to Prince Rupert and Saint John seems an unlikely recipe for national unity. Why is Andrew Scheer pushing a failed policy from the 1970s?
Blog - Alberta Diary September 28
Climate strike in Edmonton. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The young protesters who gathered on the frigid doorstep of the Alberta legislature yesterday may not frighten Premier Jason Kenney, but they ought to.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 26
Stephen Mandel, at right, when he was health minister in 2014, with premier Jim Prentice, who appointed him before he was elected. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | After his successful three-term run as Edmonton's mayor ended in 2013, Stephen Mandel seems to have left a trail of devastation in his attempts to return to public life.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 25
Former Alberta premier Rachel Notley, whose NDP government brought in the so-called turn-off-the-taps law. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Jason Kenney, ironically, seems determined to stand by what is arguably Rachel Notley's worst law while tearing up the good legislation her government passed.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 24
Edmonton public school Trustee Michael Janz. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Michael Janz is an energetic and articulate advocate for public education, and in possession of an unerring instinct for what makes journalists pay attention.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 24
Andrew Scheer. Image: Andrew Scheer/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Conservatives appear to be not merely the party of unsavoury "old-stock" Canadians, but of dangerous Canadians too.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 20
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the campaign trail in 2015. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | So what will Canadians decide about Justin Trudeau's blackface scandal? Nobody really knows at this instant.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 19
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Ecojustice to Kenney's inquiry: stop acting like a kangaroo court that has already decided the outcome of its deliberations or prepare to be stopped in the real courts.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 18
Calgary's Eighth Avenue Mall, emblematic of an Alberta in which the population keeps growing as the number of civil servants per capita falls. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | While you can't necessarily trust anything the Fraser Institute or the MacKinnon panel say, you can trust Statistics Canada.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 17
Jason Kenney in 2013. Image: michael_swan/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Premier Jason Kenney doesn't seem to have learned much since the last time Amnesty International took him on, but he certainly hasn't forgotten anything.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 13
Jason Kenney, Alberta's head of government. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has only been in power for four and a half months. He still enjoys a post-election honeymoon with voters. Isn't it a little soon for him to jump the shark?
Blog - Alberta Diary September 12
Heather McPherson, the NDP candidate in Edmonton Strathcona. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | But things are only a little harder than normal for federal Liberals around here. Albertans always vote like this, even though it doesn't make much sense.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 11
Amnesty International Canada's Secretary General, Alex Neve. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Amnesty International says the world expects Alberta to do better while Alberta's premier petulantly trots out the same old unconvincing excuses.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 10
Alberta Minister of Finance Travis Toews and Premier Jason Kenney. Image: Premier of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Even real conservatives, if such a species exists anymore, know something's gone awry with Alberta's fiscal setup and that part of the solution's on the revenue side.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 10
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 | Anything you say may be used against somebody who runs afoul of Premier Jason Kenney's $2.5-million inquiry to ferret out foreign-funded eco-subversives.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 9
Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. Image: Chatham House/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Use of violent and abusive language on social media, sometimes translating into actual violence, is becoming a particular problem for women in politics, especially progressive women.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 6
Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. Image: Adriana LaGrange/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | We don't know what the government of Alberta has in mind with this change, only that it doesn't seem to be inclined to volunteer the information.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 4
"Blue-ribbon" panel chair Janice MacKinnon during yesterday's Calgary news conference (Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video).
David J. Climenhaga | It is quite clear this is not a legitimate study, but a political document intended to justify what the government has already decided to do.
Blog - Alberta Diary September 2
The UCP government's "blue ribbon" panel. From left to right: Mike Percy, Dave Mowat, Finance Minister Travis Toews, Janice MacKinnon, Premier Jason Kenney, Kim Henderson, Jay Ramotar and Bev Dahlby. Image: Government of Alberta
David J. Climenhaga | If Jason Kenney is serious about achieving a destiny as prime minister of Canada, he's going to have to stop giving the impression he's a separatist, isn't he?
Blog - Alberta Diary September 1
Tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators protested Brexit throughout the United Kingdom yesterday (Photo: Twitter).
David J. Climenhaga | Questions to ponder as we observe the unravelling of representative democracy in Britain.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 30
Canadian soldiers look out over Afghan landscape. Image: Robert Hyatt/U.S. Army/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | What were Canadians fighting for in Afghanistan? Perhaps our former defence minister can emerge from obscurity to cast some illumination on this question.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 29
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews at Tuesday's first-quarter update news conference. Photo: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | The UCP's voodoo tax-cut economics will have to be paid for with severe cuts to public services. Promised revenue increases will never appear. There's no reason Alberta will be different.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 27
B.C. Green Leader Andrew Weaver. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The leader of B.C.'s Green Party has no problem with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney's "outrageous, completely ridiculous" claims. "It brings people to us. So keep it up!"
Blog - Alberta Diary August 19
Alberta Teachers Association president Jason Schilling. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | As a union and a signatory to a memorandum of agreement with the NDP, the Alberta Teachers Association is nowadays a particular bête noir to the united Kenney party.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 19
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The changes, and the way they were made, are harbingers of both how radical the UCP program is likely to be and the shock strategy it will use to implement them.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 18
Alberta Labour Minister Jason Copping, left, and minimum wage "expert panel" chair Joseph Marchand at the government's newser in Calgary. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Lobbyists influencing policy and legislation is nothing new. But Thursday's announcement suggests the Kenney government isn't even trying to pretend anymore.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 16
​Image: Jason Woodhead/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The ecosystem of partisan Conservative propaganda outlets is gearing up for the full-court press to persuade us the United Conservative Party is right and that there is no alternative.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 14
Syncrude camp and operations site north of Fort McMurray. Photo: Julia Kilpatrick/Pembina Institute/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Premier Jason Kenney's strategy of yelling at anyone who disagrees is not going to prove very effective as the world comes to the conclusion climate change is real.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 13
Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro tours the Stollery’s new pediatric intensive care unit. Photo: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | After years of constant conservative mismanagement, Alberta's health-care system may not be able to take another major reorganization without catastrophic results.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 12
A typical workday for UFCW 401 President Doug O'Halloran. Photo: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | On Friday, Doug O'Halloran, one of Canada's last old style union leaders -- tough, plain spoken and deeply committed the workers he represents -- announced his life is coming to an end.