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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 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.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 22
Image: Google Maps
David J. Climenhaga | The Labour Ministry inspector watched via FaceTime as three employees conducted "a virtual plant inspection."
Blog - Alberta Diary April 21
Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw at the April 20, 2020 COVID-19 briefing in Edmonton. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | A total of 484 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been tied to Calgary-area meat-packing plant; crowded living conditions are linked to the spread of the disease from there.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 20
Alberta Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen and Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw during a telephone town hall with Cargill workers on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Image: Devin Dreeshen/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta's agriculture minister keeps insisting meat-packing plants are safe from COVID-19. It's becoming increasingly clear they're not.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 19
Canadian environmentalist Tzeporah Berman. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | If Prime Minister Trudeau is bold enough to actually attach some strings to the oilpatch bailout money, you can count on it the UCP will go right back to screaming at him.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 17
Justin Trudeau gives a speech in Parliament on April 11, 2020. Image: Justin Trudeau/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Trudeau is a politician too often characterized by timidity. This is an opportunity for him to do the right thing.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 16
A screenshot of the Facebook ad library showing the Alberta government's ads promoting the shipment of 750,000 N95 medical masks to other provinces. Image: Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | For Alberta's health-care workers who are wondering if there's a shortage of N95 masks, it seems as if their safety has been compromised by a cynical effort to build social licence for more pipelines.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 15
A letter purportedly sent by a resident of Kingston, Ontario, to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Image: Jason Kenney/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | Many are casting doubt on the authenticity of a letter the Alberta premier said he received from a resident of Kingston, Ontario. But the truth is often stranger than fiction.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 14
Alberta Chief Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw at Monday's daily COVID-19 briefing in Edmonton. Image: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video
David J. Climenhaga | COVID-19 isn't going to be the last global pandemic we will ever face. We need to be prepared, and running a hospital or care home like a hotel or a fast-food restaurant is a recipe for disaster.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 13
U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions from the press about COVID-19 on April 7, 2020. Image: Tia Dufour/The White House/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The United States is critically ill -- COVID-19 is the proximate cause, but the ailment that may kill it is neoliberalism.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 12
Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Is this a generous Easter gift based on Alberta's good fortune, or is it a political roll of the dice? Someone had to ask.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 11
Image: Flickr/Government of Alberta
David J. Climenhaga | As doctors battle the coronavirus, knowing their collective bargaining association is fighting for them will improve morale considerably as they risk their lives to save ours.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 9
Former Alberta premier Rachel Notley, now leader of the province's NDP Opposition, at a campaign rally on March 17 last year in Edmonton (Image: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | There are worse places to be than in Opposition when the province is in crisis.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 8
Jason Kenney during his televised address on April 7, 2020. Image: Jason Kenney/Facebook
David J. Climenhaga | The Alberta premier didn't sugarcoat the grim prospects his province faces in the coming weeks. But Kenney wandered into the weeds when he started defending his all-oil-all-the-time economic strategy.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 7
U.S. President Donald Trump at the coronavirus update briefing on April 4, 2020. Image: The White House/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Everyone understands that what President Trump was proposing was an embargo -- an act of war, in other words. But the PM can't say that aloud without dangerous repercussions.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 6
A commuter in Washington D.C. dons a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Image: Elvert Barnes/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | As they are now in Asia, anti-viral masks are likely to be part of Canadian life going forward.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 5
The Harmac Pacific mill on Vancouver Island. Image: David Stanley/Flickr.
David J. Climenhaga | What's the Alberta premier actually doing to get Trump to shape up? Other than being extremely disappointed ...
Blog - Alberta Diary April 4
Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Premier Jason Kenney shortly after the election of the United Conservative Party government (Image: Premier of Alberta/Flickr).
David J. Climenhaga | Whatever Jason Kenney says, it's doubtful this issue will go away as long as Tyler Shandro is minister of health. If the premier doesn't like that, he knows what he has to do.
Blog - Alberta Diary April 2
The Alberta legislature in Edmonton. Image: Jeff Wallace/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | A roundup of Alberta news stories you may have missed.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 31
Jason Kenney gives a press briefing, March 31, 2020. Image: Government of Alberta
David J. Climenhaga | COVID-19 is here and the Alberta government is fighting with doctors, laying off public-sector workers and giving away billions to the oil industry.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 31
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage announces loan to the Orphan Well Association on March 2, 2020. Image: Sonya Savage/Twitter
David J. Climenhaga | The mothballing operation will last for three months, or until the government decides it can get away with starting the war room up again.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 30
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees president Guy Smith. Image: David J. Climenhaga
David J. Climenhaga | Don't game the system, Justin Trudeau warns companies. Unfortunately, there's not much the prime minister can do about Conservative-run provincial governments trying to game federal supports.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 30
Image: Government of Alberta/Flickr​
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Premier Jason Kenney demonstrated remarkable chutzpah telling 26,000 laid-off public employees to collect employment insurance from Ottawa.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 29
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and Premier Jason Kenney. Image: Premier of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | On Saturday afternoon, Alberta school trustees learned funding was about to pulled by the provincial government, costing up to 20,000 jobs.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 28
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro. Image: Premier of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | The Alberta health minister and his wife, Andrea Shandro, are part owners of a supplementary health benefits company that sells coverage for services recently delisted by Shandro's ministry.
Blog - Alberta Diary March 26
Image: kris krüg/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | By the time we get around to addressing the problem of global warming seriously, we may well be at the end of our rope.