rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

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 February 9
Conservative premiers Jason Kenney of Alberta and Scott Moe of Saskatchewan. Image: Wilson Centre
David J. Climenhaga | Does anyone actually believe Jason Kenney's claim that Gerald Butts, then Justin Trudeau's principal secretary, secretly conspired with the White House in 2015?
Blog - Alberta Diary February 6
Alberta nurses: targeted for UCP rollbacks. Image: Submitted/United Nurses of Alberta
David J. Climenhaga | When citizens push back against UCP plans and policies, they can expect to be swarmed and bullied, often quite personally, by publicly paid political staff.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 5
TMX moves ahead while the rest of the world electrifies. Image: Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | The world will likely still need some Alberta bitumen -- to repair the roads on which all those electric vehicles will go whizzing around.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 4
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro, Alberta Health Services CEO Verna Yiu and Ernst & Young spokesperson John Bethel at yesterday's news conference in Edmonton. Image: Government of Alberta.
David J. Climenhaga | The consultant's report released yesterday by the Alberta government could be a harbinger of a privatization binge, or it could just turn out to be an expensive press release.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 3
Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Even die-hard Alberta conservatives might start to wonder if all of Alberta's problems are really Justin Trudeau's fault.
Blog - Alberta Diary February 1
AUPE president Guy Smith. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The stage has been set for a disputatious period of labour relations in Alberta for the foreseeable future.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 30
Premier Jason Kenney with his "blue ribbon" panel in May 2019. From left to right: retired business professor and former politician Mike Percy, banker Dave Mowat, Finance Minister Travis Toews, chair Janice MacKinnon, Premier Jason Kenney, former B.C. deputy minister Kim Henderson, senior Alberta civil servant Jay Ramotar, and economist and Fraser Institute associate Bev Dahlby. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | A freedom of information filing by the Alberta Federation of Labour revealed that UCP staffers wrote speaking notes and a newspaper column for the head of Alberta's so-called "blue ribbon panel."
Blog - Alberta Diary January 29
Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Support for TMX outside the Prairies has dropped since Kenney scrapped Rachel Notley's "social license" strategy. The UCP government's hostile approach is driving away support for the project.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 28
Peter MacKay shakes hands with outgoing Conservative leader Andrew Scheer. Image: Andrew Scheer/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Liberal strategists likely fear a return of Jason Kenney to federal politics more than Peter MacKay winning the Conservative party leadership race.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 25
Coronavirus. Image: Centers for Disease Control/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | The start of a global coronavirus outbreak probably isn't the best moment for a high-risk ideological experiment in health-care management, but don't expect conservatives to care.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 23
Image: Jeff Callaway/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Soon we will find out if breaking the law is illegal in Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 21
Progress Alberta director Duncan Kinney. Image: Dave Cournoyer, used with permission
David J. Climenhaga | A small activist organization is challenging the UCP government's so-called inquiry into "anti-Alberta campaigns." If the Alberta government is a Goliath, Progress Alberta is certainly David.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 19
The University of Alberta's Central Academic Building
David J. Climenhaga | Jason Kenney's government adores regulations intended to harass people and organizations they don't like, for example, the University of Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 17
Manning Centre founder and former Reform party leader Preston Manning. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | File under unsolved political mysteries: career changes by Stephen Harper, Preston Manning and Andrew Weaver. Whatever can they mean?
Blog - Alberta Diary January 16
Premier Jason Kenney speaks to media. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The Alberta legislature returns on February 25 amid disappearing jobs and sour economic indicators. Can Alberta survive another spring of renewal like the last one?
Blog - Alberta Diary January 14
Mass strikes and protests in France over pension reform. Image: Jeanne Menjoulet/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Why is there an almost total blackout of news about the general strike in France in Canadian media?
Blog - Alberta Diary January 12
Wexit rally in Edmonton. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Judging from the turnout at its Edmonton rally yesterday, Alberta's minuscule Wexit faction might want to reconsider its demand for a separation referendum right now.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 10
The "fair deal" panel in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Image: David Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | If you expected a separatist open mic night in Fort Saskatchewan, guess again!
Blog - Alberta Diary January 9
Tehran in 2010. Image: Flickr/Ninara
David J. Climenhaga | In the wake of yesterday's air tragedy in Iran that took the lives of at least 63 Canadians, all Canadians want answers to what caused Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS 752 to crash.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 8
Alberta Minister of Energy Sonya Savage. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The United Conservative Party has a lot of time for the rule of law -- but only when the law lets it enforce its own rules.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 7
NDP Opposition energy critic Irfan Sabir when he was a minister of the Crown. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Run competently, the Canadian Energy Centre could do considerably more damage to the democratic rights of Albertans and the state of our rapidly heating globe.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 6
A helicopter drops a bucket of water on a wildfire near High Level, Alberta in May 2019. Image: Chris Schwarz for Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Response to Australian wildfires shows how much has changed since 2016, when connections between Alberta wildfires and climate change were denounced as outrageous.
Blog - Alberta Diary January 3
Linda Silas. Image: David Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The New Brunswick nurse and president of Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is best known outside labour as a high-profile supporter for a national pharmacare program.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 31
Image: Jeff Wallace/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The United Conservative Party's austerity program will push Alberta into recession. The UCP, naturally, will blame the NDP and Justin Trudeau.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 27
Oil pump jacks in Alberta. Image: Jeff Wallace/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The Canadian Energy Centre is churning out thinly veiled propaganda while staffers masquerade as reporters, endangering the integrity of an already struggling media ecosystem.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 21
Left image: Progress Software Corp. logo. Right image: The CEC's first logo.
David J. Climenhaga | It turns out the square-pipeline symbol that was supposedly rustled up just for the Canadian Energy Centre was already in use as the corporate logo of a software developer based in Massachusetts.
Blog - Alberta Diary December 21
Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | What the "war room" came up with in response to a tart column in the Medicine Hat News was more akin to a boring press release, as staffers of the newspaper were soon gleefully tweeting.
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.