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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 27
Image: Mahkeo/Unsplash
David J. Climenhaga | If Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is serious about helping Alberta's fossil fuel industry, he'll need to adopt the NDP's social license strategy.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 25
Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews reads the province’s budget speech yesterday. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's once again the poor little rich kid of Confederation, crying poverty, throwing its weight around, and careering from knee-jerk austerity to pre-election profligacy.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 24
Alberta Minister of Finance Travis Toews puts on his cowboy boots in preparation for the release of the budget. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | If you're not going to raise revenues, the millions required for inquiries, snitch lines, war rooms and constitutional jiggery-pokery have to come from somewhere.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 23
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It's clearer every day Jason Kenney views the equalization referendum idea, on its face constitutionally meaningless, as a thinly disguised sovereignty-association vote.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 22
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | If Jason Kenney is heading back to Ottawa -- as long rumoured in the event Andrew Scheer should lose, which he now has -- the Liberals should take him seriously.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 21
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. Image: Andrew Scheer/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is making up parliamentary conventions to suit himself, and Albertans are likely to be angry no matter the outcome of today's federal election.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 19
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist, at the start of a large march through Edmonton yesterday. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | It would have been a remarkable accomplishment for any group to summon a throng of the size that enthusiastically greeted 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg in Edmonton.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 18
Heather McPherson, the federal NDP's candidate in Edmonton Strathcona, and former Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason. Image: Heather McPherson for Edmonton Strathcona/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Former Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason didn't mention Notley by name, but her recent suggestion she might not vote NDP because of the federal party's pipeline policy obviously didn't impress him.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 17
Sixteen-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg in Calgary yesterday. Image: Druh Farrell/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Sixteen-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg will lead a lunch-hour march tomorrow from a downtown Edmonton park to the nearby Alberta legislature.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 17
Michael Kalmanovitch back in the day, campaigning for the Green Party of Canada. Image: Michael Kalmanovitch for Edmonton Strathcona/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | Within hours of Michael Kalmanovitch's announcement he was dropping out, the Greens issued a statement saying he was is no longer a member of the party.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 15
Doug O'Halloran, 1952-2019. Image: Dave Cournoyer
David J. Climenhaga | A statement from UFCW 401 president Thomas Hesse and secretary treasurer Richelle Stewart said, "it is hard to express how saddened we are by the loss of our great brother, Douglas."
Blog - Alberta Diary October 15
Heather McPherson, the federal NDP candidate in Edmonton Strathcona. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Does the Mainstreet poll of voter intentions in the Edmonton Strathcona federal riding indicate a real trend, or is it an outlier for whatever reasons?
Blog - Alberta Diary October 14
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. Image: Anders Hellberg/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Environmental activist Greta Thunberg appears content to give the Kenney government a few days to work itself into a full-blown swivet before she announces her Alberta itinerary.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 13
Greta Thunberg. Image: European Parliament/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | At the time this was written, no one in Alberta seems to know when or where Thunberg will arrive.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 12
Alberta Labour Minister Jason Copping. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | It's unclear whether the client in these circumstances would be the union member on the line or the Government of Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 11
Alberta Energy Minister and Canadian Energy Centre Ltd. Director Sonya Savage, at left. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Structuring Alberta's "energy war room" as a private corporation to avoid FOIP requests sounds like a shady dodge; Kenney government says "foreign-funded special interests" made them do it.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 10
Tom Olsen. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | The new managing director of the Kenney government's renamed "Canadian Energy Centre" ran unsuccessfully for the United Conservative Party in Calgary in last April's election.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 9
Still from debate livestream. Image: YouTube
David J. Climenhaga | Another Conservative innovation: the faux riposte response to a question that wasn't asked. It's not a debating technique.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 8
Reakash Walters nominates Rachel Notley as the NDP candidate in 2015, shortly before the NDP's historic majority victory. Image: Provided by Reakash Walters
David J. Climenhaga | If you have progressive views, you don't have to be living outside Alberta to feel out of touch with Alberta politics nowadays.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 7
Environmental Defence Canada's executive director Tim Gray at a recent panel in Edmonton. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Environmental group's report asserts the fossil fuel industry's well-funded lobby is the single biggest barrier to effective climate action being taken by Canada.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 4
Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer, when he was a starship captain … really! Image: Andrew Scheer/Flickr.
David J. Climenhaga | Who knew that the Conservative leader would turn out to have a trunkful of dirty little secrets, with the emphasis on little?
Blog - Alberta Diary October 3
Alberta's historic Legislature Building in Edmonton as climate protesters gathered last Friday. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Anyone can stick up anything they like in the windows of the stately and historic Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton and they won't be breaking any rules.
Blog - Alberta Diary October 2
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | If you have nothing better to do this afternoon, why not contact the ministry of red tape reduction and let them know about the duplication over at the ministry of labour?
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.

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