Derek Reimer hopes to be Ward 9’s next city councillor.
After being encouraged to run last summer, the proud Christian man said he had to think and pray about the decision to place himself into Calgary’s political scene.
“This phrase on my heart that I’ve heard, ‘If not you then who? If not now, then when?’” he said.
Reimer said he does not think of himself as a politician, but he said Calgary needs change, different direction, different people, perspectives, and ideas.
“I’m not happy with what I’m seeing, and now I want to influence the city for the better,” Reimer said.
“I thought, ‘You know what? Let’s do this.’ I’m willing to step into this arena for change that I’m desperate for.”
Reimer said his interest in politics began with past American presidential elections, which he said he followed closer than Canadian politics. Eventually, Reimer said he realized it was time to direct his attention to Canada, and especially Calgary.
The support that Reimer has received, he said, from fellow politicians in Calgary has encouraged him throughout his campaign. Reimer said certain candidates within the Calgary municipal election have gathered every one or two weeks for the past few months.
“There’s actually a team of us that are running. I would say we have the same or a similar message and direction that we want to go in,” he said.
“I’m the only one of our group in Ward 9 because we’re trying to have a shotgun spread throughout the city. Some are going for Mayor and some are in different wards. I don’t think we have every ward covered, but probably at least half.”
Reimer’s top concerns in Calgary
The main Calgary issues that Reimer said he was most focused on include property and business taxes, council wages and police funding. He said he hopes to cut property and business taxes, as well as council wages.
“They’re always giving themselves promotions and then they froze their wage last year. I have some intel that they’re spending with money they don’t have,” he said.
As for police funding, Reimer said the “defund the police” movement bothered him, as he supports the Calgary Police.
“It was a little bit of a runaround with money distribution and for giving into radical groups like that can be damaging. You’re showing everybody we’re easily influenced and persuaded to give in to radical extremists’ demands,” he said.
Reimer said most of all, he is a defender of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, of the people, and of the citizens.
“I’m for the people. I go out to the streets on the weekends and I feed the hungry. I want to help people. I don’t want to just boss people around and tell them what to do,” he said.
“I want people to have and feel like they have a voice. It seems like it’s getting controlled more and more. We’re just being ordered and told what to do, and I think we’re all sick of that. We’re gonna give it back to the people.”
Yes to the Green Line, no to fluoride
Regarding the Green Line project, Reimer said he completely supports construction. He appreciates the revitalization of the economy and the jobs that the Green Line would create, as well as the extra transportation.
One issue he does not support however, is fluoride in Calgary’s water. Reimer said that the $30 million (over 10 years) adding fluoride to the water isn’t something the government should impose on Calgarians.
“I am vehemently opposed to fluoride. People are struggling to put food on their tables, to make mortgage payments. I want people to be OK, I want people to be able to eat, to feed their families and get back to normal as much as we can possible,” he said.
“$30 million to get that going for tooth decay because people aren’t keeping proper oral hygiene. If my neighbour isn’t taking care of his teeth, it’s costing me money, it’s affecting me because he isn’t taking care of himself. And I got an issue with that.”
Crime in Ward 9
In Ward 9, Reimer said rising crime is a concern. Supporting the police, but speaking against corruption, Reimer said he’s an advocate for police accountability.
“But we need to support police, because in Ward 9, crime rates are high,” he said.
“We need to get crime down and we need a strong police presence. That’s why I support our troops like I support the cops. It just seems like it’s out of control.”
Reimer said there is a broken windows theory, meaning that the more run down the neighbourhood, the more crime takes place.
“There was graffiti, broken windows, trash, and broken fences. Just things of that nature showing negligence and that neighbourhood can be a hotbed for criminal activity,” he said.
“Because of this subconsciously or consciously, a criminal sees that and thinks nobody cares there. Even graffiti shows a lack of control and care for your neighborhood. I would love to be on top of that.”
Reimer said he hopes to clean up Ward 9, encourage higher community standards, and increase policing in high-crime areas.
“Those crime rates will drop, inevitably. I believe that,” he said.
Why Derek Reimer?
Reimer said that he should represent Ward 9 because there is a need for new faces, ideas and perspectives.
“Mayor Nenshi said that it’s time that we make room for younger people to be stepping back, and I think he’s exactly right,” Reimer said.
Mentioning his volunteer work, Reimer said that feeding the homeless and hungry every weekend has prepared him to care for Ward 9.
“I see it as I would be in a position representing the people of Ward 9, and the city. I want to give back to the people, I want to put more money in people’s pockets. I want to actually represent them,” he said.
“I want to commit to transparency. What I say and what I promise, I’m actually going to do that moving forward, and not just tickle people’s ears and get their votes and support.”