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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 August 10
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage and Premier Jason Kenney in Friday's video. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | The explanation for Friday's announcement, almost certainly, is the embarrassment wrought by the education minister's curriculum-review news conference the day before.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 7
Curriculum advisory panel chair Angus McBeath during his rambling remarks yesterday. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | No one who watched Adriana LaGrange's news conference on her plans for Alberta's K-12 curriculum yesterday could come away with the impression this province's education system is in capable hands.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 6
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage at a recent Keystone XL related announcement. Image: Chris Schwarz/Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's "war on unions" continues, but the United Conservative Party is happy about the creation of good union jobs in the States because, you know … pipelines!
Blog - Alberta Diary August 5
Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Public pressure for a safer school reopening got Jason Kenney's government to budge -- a little. The question is, will worried Albertans decide it budged enough?
Blog - Alberta Diary July 31
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro. Image: Chris Schwarz/Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Harsh words about Alberta's UCP by local elected officials in the party's rural heartland are extremely unusual. A fight over how to keep local doctors has sparked some in Pincher Creek.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 30
Jason Kenney and Jason Nixon with a big stack of paper yesterday. Image: Jason Kenney/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | How odd Alberta's red-tape-hating UCP, steeped in the anti-government rhetoric of the old Wildrose party, should be bragging about smothering the province in legislation.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 29
Deutsche Bank AG headquarters in Frankfurt. Image: Thomas Wolf/foto-tw.de/Creative Commons
David J. Climenhaga | Now that it's the government, Jason Kenney's United Conservative Party is strangely passive when foreign banks cut off the oilsands and environmental activists drag them into court.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 28
It should be a crazy week under the socially distanced dome of the Alberta legislature. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta is the test bed for what Canadians will be subjected to if the Conservative Party of Canada somehow manages to get another kick at the national can.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 28
Suncor building in Calgary. Image: Bernard SpraggNZ/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | No information was to be found in Sunday's terse news release about why it took two years to lay charges.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 24
Rachel Notley and Sarah Hoffman when they were Alberta's premier and health minister -- admit it, don't you wish they still were? Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Every afternoon we're told surging COVID-19 rates are a wake-up call for Albertans. Every morning the Kenney government sleeps through the alarm.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 23
Premier Jason Kenney and  Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange during a news conference on May 28, 2020. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The Alberta government isn't prepared to spend the money needed to ensure physical distancing, more aggressive cleaning or even to provide masks.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 22
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at the wheel of his rented recreational vehicle from the video of his recent Southern Alberta tour. Image: Screenshot of Facebook video
David J. Climenhaga | On the road with Jason Kenney: Campfires and RVs, or crisp sheets and brunch on the patio?
Blog - Alberta Diary July 21
Tyler Shandro gives a press conference on June 23, 2020. (Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr)
David J. Climenhaga | Efforts to explain the depth of the government's animus and aggression towards the Alberta Medical Association during a global pandemic have not cast much light on the conflict.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 20
Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw. Image: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
David J. Climenhaga | Premier Kenney says he's making "a very strong recommendation" that Albertans wear masks, but there's no way he's going to order them to do it.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 17
Jonathan Wilkinson during a press conference in June, 2020. Image: Jonathan Wilkinson/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Could Wilkinson's doubts have anything to do with the appointment of a climate change denier as a VP of the Alberta Energy Regulator?
Blog - Alberta Diary July 16
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro during a press briefing on July 13, 2020. Image: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Yesterday's desperation play confirms the UCP government's "war on doctors" isn't going well.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 15
Lethbridge-West NDP MLA Shannon Phillips, who was environment minister in the Notley government. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Left unmentioned so far in the affair is its relationship to the continuous abuse endured by female politicians in Alberta by right-wingers while the NDP was in power.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 14
Then British prime minister David Cameron, giving a speech in 2015. Image: Number 10/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The persistence of the "big society" concept helps explain Justin Trudeau's preposterous claim the WE Charity was the only organization in Canada capable of running a nationwide program.
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.