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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 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.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 25
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney during a news conference in Calgary on Friday, May 22, 2020. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's United Conservative Party will apply for funds from the federal government's Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to keep party staff employed.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 22
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro during a COVID-19 press briefing on May 4, 2020. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | More than a month has passed since the UCP promised a $2-per-hour coronavirus-crisis top-up to Alberta's lowest-paid health-care workers. There's still no sign of it.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 20
Jason Kenney celebrates his victory in the United Conservative Party leadership race in October, 2017. Image: Jason Kenney/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Conservatives always thought they could afford some rebellion to open the Overton window further to the political right. The NDP's Rachel Notley proved them wrong in 2015.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 19
Democratic presidential candidate, former vice-president Joe Biden speaks at a rally in Norfolk, Virginia at Booker T. Washington High School, March 1, 2020. Image: NSPA & ACP​/Flickr)
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has called sinking $7.5 billion into the Keystone XL pipeline "a solid bet." But the investment is not likely to benefit Alberta's taxpayers.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 15
Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Alberta Health Services president Verna Yiu and Ernst & Young spokesperson John Bethel at the release of the AHS review report on February 3. Image: Government of Alberta
David J. Climenhaga | If ever there was a time to recognize that privatization of health-care services, in particular public-sector long-term care, is a bad idea, the current pandemic is that moment.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 15
Image: Dricker94/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Twitter users were quick to point out to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation's Aaron Wudrick that any horse hoping to defraud Ottawa of CERB funds would need a valid social insurance number.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 14
Jason Kenney with Jack Mintz in 2015. Image: Jason Kenney/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | University of Calgary Professor Jack Mintz, appointed in March to lead Jason Kenney's "emergency economic panel," has joined other right-wing commentators in calling for public-sector rollbacks.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 13
Cypress-Medicine Hat United Conservative Party MLA Drew Barnes. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The timing of Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes's tweet was especially bad, since public-sector workers are currently on the front lines battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 12
An oil sands plant in Fort McMurray, Alberta, in 2012. Image: kris krüg​/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | A new report finds that the 'big five' oil sands producers shipped $8 billion to their mostly foreign shareholders in the first three quarters of 2019.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 11
A doctor participating in a protest calling for a faster response to the spread of COVID-19 in the homeless shelter system. Image: michael_swan/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Jason Kenney's UCP has chosen the pandemic as an opportunity for an assault on physician pay and an ugly attack on the Alberta Medical Association.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 8
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at a COVID-19 briefing, May 7, 2020. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video/YouTube
David J. Climenhaga | The Bloc Québécois leader said oil "is never coming back" while the former Green party leader stated "oil is dead." The Alberta premier called those remarks 'divisive.'
Blog - Alberta Diary May 7
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at a press briefing on May 7, 2020. Image: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Kenney has an approval rating of 44 per cent, and a disapproval rating of 48 per cent, the only premier in a recent poll with a higher disapproval rating than approval rating.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 6
The scene in the lunchroom of the JBS slaughterhouse in Brooks, Alberta. Image: Screenshot of JBS Canada video/YouTube
David J. Climenhaga | Ottawa has the power if it chooses to use it. It has regulatory jurisdiction over any meat-packing plant that sells meat outside its province of origin.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 5
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney provides an update from Edmonton on Thursday, April 30, 2020, on COVID-19. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | When health-care professionals have been able to call the shots, Albertans seem to have mostly fared OK. But where Conservative politicians have been involved, the results are disastrous.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 4
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Friday's announcement of the ban of 1,500 makes of military-style rifles (Image: CanadianPM/Twitter).
David J. Climenhaga | Since neither low oil prices nor COVID-19 are going away any time soon, at least Ottawa's ban on assault-style firearms gives Alberta Premier Jason Kenney something to talk about.
Blog - Alberta Diary May 1
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at Thursday's COVID-19 briefing. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | The pandemic has taught us some powerful lessons about the usual way we do business. Is business as usual where we really want to go?
Blog - Alberta Diary April 30
Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner in 2017. Image: Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Canadian Conservatives care deeply and profoundly about where politicians live, or even what passport they might be inclined to use -- until they don't.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 28
Donna Kennedy-Glans last year at a hearing of the Kenney government's "fair deal" panel. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | A post harshly critical of Health Minister Tyler Shandro has appeared on a blog used as a platform by "fair deal" panel member Donna Kennedy-Glans.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 27
Ted Morton during the 2011 Progressive Conservative leadership race. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The former Alberta finance minister did get one thing right in his Calgary Herald article: If Alberta is to survive its current bust it's going to need a sales tax.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 24
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at Wednesday's COVID-19 briefing, when he offered his discourse on pension policy. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | No matter what Premier Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party may wish, this story is not going to go away.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 23
Premier Jason Kenney on giving a speech on March 17, 2020. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Last week illustrates something about Jason Kenney's UCP government: it's not just remarkably incompetent, it's remarkably unlucky too.