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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 2
Janis Irwin with Brian Mason in 2017 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Thanks to previous Alberta NDP leaders Brian Mason, Pam Barrett and Ray Martin, Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood is one of the safer ridings for the NDP in Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary August 1
Alberta Pollster Janet Brown (Photo: David J. Climenhaga)
David J. Climenhaga | Carleton University Journalism Professor Paul Adams, one of the three high-profile inquiry members, said this morning the surprise announcement leaves the panel "in a bit of a quandary."
Blog - Alberta Diary August 1
David J. Climenhaga | In 2017, the pollster that published optimistic results for the UCP yesterday admitted to "a catastrophic polling failure" in its coverage of the Calgary civic election.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 31
David J. Climenhaga | Surely it's time for us to start choosing genuinely progressive leaders whose boldness matches that of the unrepresentative right.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 28
Drumheller-Stettler United Conservative Party MLA Rick Strankman
David J. Climenhaga | It would seem some of UCP Leader Jason Kenney’s MLAs who should have known better have lived down to expectations.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 27
Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi
David J. Climenhaga | If the pipeline is so essential to the economic wellbeing of Canada, it belongs in the public sector. Permanently.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 25
Preston Manning, right, Godfather of the Canadian Right, with Ron Paul, at left, the batty uncle of the American right wing, at the 2013 Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | What happened? We grow old. Preston Manning, Godfather of the Canadian Right, is now 76. He has "stepped away" from his direct role in managing the effort.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 24
Derek Fildebrandt, speaking at the Manning Centre. Photo: Freedom Conservative Party/Wikimedia Commons
David J. Climenhaga | The Freedom Conservative Party interim leader's latest effort certainly had the desired effect of ginning up an enormous amount of media coverage.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 21
The Pincher Creek wind farm
David J. Climenhaga | One advantage Canadian conservatives enjoy is the willingness of many right-wing political parties in Canadian provinces to act in concert with their federal branch.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 19
Derek Fildebrandt (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | It's hard to believe Derek Fildebrandt does not view his repudiation by UCP Leader Jason Kenney as a deep personal betrayal.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 17
Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek Fildebrandt listens to other bearded men in happier times (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Derek Fildebrandt is not a particularly sympathetic character, but in these circumstances, it's hard not to feel a little empathy for the fellow!
Blog - Alberta Diary July 16
Prab Gill, centre, with coffee and iPhone, along with members of both the NDP and UCP caucuses supporting oilsands pipelines last April (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Another UCP MLA bites the dust: Calgary-Greenway MLA Prab Gill is the latest in a parade of MLAs to leave the Opposition caucus for one reason or another.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 14
David J. Climenhaga | Canadian conservatives who campaign in future U.S. elections are going to need to be prepared to answer hostile questions from their compatriots.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 13
UCP leader Jason Kenney
David J. Climenhaga | As irritating as UCP triumphalism is to supporters of the Notley Government's policies in the wake of yesterday's by-election victories, there is no evidence yet it's not justified.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 11
Jason Kenney at a press conference in 2012. Photo: Rob Salerno/Daily Xtra/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | With the benefit of hindsight, the prime minister's 2016 remarks about Brexit sound prime ministerial, even statesmanlike. UCP Leader Jason Kenney's rather less so.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 9
David J. Climenhaga | Adopting a policy proposed by the United Conservative Party would be tantamount to declaring law-free open season on anyone who wanders onto an isolated property.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 6
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2013
David J. Climenhaga | Will the day come when it is acceptable for a Canadian Conservative politician to give a speech to a "freedom rally" put on by ISIS? Never say never!
Blog - Alberta Diary July 5
Soon-to-retire former NDP leader Brian Mason, now Alberta’s minister of transport, at yesterday’s news conference (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Brian Mason's last line at his news conference: "Let's call it a career, then. Shall we?" Exit, stage left. Not a dry eye in the house.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 4
Old Glory, the Star Spangled Banner, the current and probably terminal version of the national flag of the United States (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | We're not sorry! Independence Day 2018 demands from Canadians polite restraint, even chilly reserve, toward our neighbours.
Blog - Alberta Diary July 1
Entrance to the Sherwood Park Freeway (Photo: Found on the Internet, unattributed; modifications by the author).
David J. Climenhaga | I don't know how the Beaverton stays in business with the brutal competition they’re facing nowadays from Alberta.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 30
Former Canadian PM Stephen Harper with former U.S. president George W. Bush, in 2006 when Harper had a decent excuse to visit the White House
David J. Climenhaga | If Stephen Harper wants to serve his country in the conduct of foreign affairs, he needs to wait to wait until he is asked by the elected government of the day.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 29
David J. Climenhaga | A foot in the door. This is how the fight to destroy women's reproductive rights began in the United States, and this is how the social conservative right intends to see it start in Canada too.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 28
Alberta Court of Queen's Bench in Medicine Hat. Photo: Lynne Ayers/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Education Minister David Eggen quickly hailed the ruling as a victory "for justice and equality in the province of Alberta." As for the UCP Opposition … crickets.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 27
David J. Climenhaga | What does Alberta do instead of acknowledging the obvious and doing something about it? What we always do in our role as the spoiled little rich kid of Confederation! Whine about Quebec.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 25
United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney
David J. Climenhaga | The 2018 budget brought down in February sets out the Trudeau government's equalization formula plan unequivocally in terms anyone can understand. You actually have to read it, though.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 23
Statue of Atlas holding the Earth. Image: Flickr/elentir
David J. Climenhaga | The Atlas Network is said to have distributed about US$5 million to groups it supports worldwide in 2016. Among the group's partners are 12 Canadian entities.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 21
Education Minister David Eggen tabled new legislation in the Alberta legislature November 2, 2017 to support students by ensuring they can safely join or form gay-straight and queer-straight alliances. Photo: Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | Public documents and website postings show some of the sources of the so-called Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms' money.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 20
David J. Climenhaga | The so-called Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom is part of a network of social conservative groups that often target laws supporting reproductive and LGBTQ rights.
Blog - Alberta Diary June 19
Calgary-Currie MLA Brian Malkinson, now minister of Service Alberta (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).
David J. Climenhaga | Alberta Premier Rachel Notley described her cabinet-shuffling strategy to reporters yesterday as, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Blog - Alberta Diary June 18
Image: Daryl_mitchell/Flickr
David J. Climenhaga | No one should expect the questions about the funding of Catholic education in Saskatchewan to be resolved by June 30, or when classes resume in September.