Charter defender: Derek Reimer bids for Ward 9 Calgary city council seat

“I thought, you know what? Let’s do this," Reimer said.

Derek Reimer is running to represent Ward 9 in Calgary municipal election. CONTRIBUTED

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.” 

2 Comments

  1. Emile Gabriel
    Mayoral candidate
    Calgary 2021
    Email: e-mail-me@telus.net
    August 12, 2021

    The Vital Role for The Council in The Municipal Government Under My Leadership
    New management principles are emerging; some are based on the “new science” of complexity that exploits an understanding of autonomous human behaviour and building the notion of complexity into management assumptions and practices.
    I have the expertise in modern management methodologies. As your new mayor, I will start making the transition to utilize such methodologies in the management of the council meetings, to:
    – Increase efficiency;
    – Improve productivity;
    – Avoid biased opinions (one of the main features of this computerized management program);
    – Make rapid and effective decisions;
    – Measure and monitor performance across city departments to maintain control of budget, improve performance and services.
    This management system will give a more active role to communities’ associations, and requires councillors to spend more time communicating with their wards, conducting more town hall meetings, and using all available technologies to inform, educate and democratically represent the prevailing wishes of their wards.
    As a result, this system will lead to improving efficiency, generating true collaboration among councillors and building a positive and successful relationship with our communities across the city.
    The councillors can always share their point of view with their communities, but, according to this management system, a councillor would not be able to override an informed clear choice of the communities.
    I have used this management system in my consultation with CEO’s of large companies seeking improving efficiency and productivity. It is a management program that has different applications.
    The design and the function of this modern management system, which incorporates the science of the human factor effect, will reject a vote that is not supported by evidence of informing, educating and consulting with the members of the councillor’s ward in order to identify the communities’ clear position on the issue, particularly, on major and critical issues, which their potential effect can expand citywide.
    Public service is a noble cause. It means putting public interests first. As a dedicated servant, using this management system, you will receive the ultimate honour of being a role model, educator and a true “messenger”.
    “Truly Represent, Build Trust …And They Will Come to Admire You”
    Building a council with the attitude of serving vs. building a career
    Considering the present state of the economy, many Calgarians have been facing financial difficulties. Furthermore, many in the private sector have taken significant cuts in their salaries.
    As our City Council is in a different “business”, that of SERVING others, I am leading by example and committed to:
    A – Term limits of two terms.
    (In my position as mayor, I will continue to advocate for term limits at the municipal level.
    After a break, any member of the council can still come back and run again if they wish to do so).
    B – As the new mayor, I will be accepting a principled and compassionate salary rollback of 35%.
    I encourage you, as a candidate running for councillor to seriously consider taking this noble pledge, leading by example. A rollback of up 25% (I went up to 35%), which would provide you with a compensation (salary) of about $85,000 annually appears to be a reasonable salary considering that times are tough and money is tight for many Calgarians, in addition, for some of the young candidates, this is a level of pay, perhaps, they have not seen yet.
    It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your desire and commitment to serving Calgarians over receiving the financial compensation.
    (If we cannot live on this reduced salary, perhaps this type of service is not for you or me. A candidate running, who does not have a plan to survive after serving one or two terms, would give voters a reason to suspect that he/she “running after the money” with an intention to make a career of this political position. These intentions are increasingly becoming distasteful in the popular discourse).
    C – Commitment to listening to the people, conducting more town hall meetings, informing, educating and looking for consensus or trends.
    I have been campaigning during the last 4 years on social media and have built a large base of supporters, who are working now to share my message across the city

    Voters are asking about who is willing to make a pledge to the above three commitments. A number of candidates have made publicly their commitment and I am sure more are coming.
    The names of those who are like minded and will be committed to the above will be shared, including displaying the names on my website. I will also encourage all my supporters to view their websites and seriously consider them.
    The mayor race is presenting three options:
    1- Career politicians (three rookie councillors – no management experience of large corporations. No commitment to term limits or to salary cutback).
    2- The newcomers, some have, either little experience on how to manage a mega corporation such as our city of Calgary, or have good experience, some of it can be useful.
    However, achieving a successful management of a growing City like Calgary will require a leader with a history of volunteering and community service, a deep understanding of our city’s main challenges and a direct relevant management experience and knowledge.
    If not, unfortunately, in such a case, the city bureaucrats or some interest group will take over and run the city.
    3- I represent a third option in this race, a professional manager offering a management plan, and has a history of volunteer service. Our local economy is decimated and we urgently need a plan for post-pandemic. I know how to make our city rich again, solve problems and provide well paid jobs and regain prosperity. An abundance of opportunities in a new diversified economy will be a part of my master recovery plan. This city has given me a fulfillment of my dreams and I care so much about it.

    I have experienced the gap between two classes of the fortunate and the unfortunate, and the economic differences and struggle that exist in society consequent to socioeconomic tension among different social classes or between rich and poor.
    I represent the moderate and the middle ground candidate (Not leaning to the left or to the right). Based on my own personal knowledge and experience I clearly understand, and I would not ignore any social injustice. I will work towards facilitating and bringing about a balanced, equitable and fair socioeconomic environment for all.
    – I Am Not Beholden to Any Donor or Specific Interest Groups –

    Therefore, when I tell you I have a plan to make life a lot better for you, I mean, for every Calgarians equally.

    My loyalty is to all Calgarians, having their best interests at heart without partiality.
    You will find me down to earth, and very friendly. It is my nature to make the job fun and rewarding.
    —————-

    P.S.
    You might have heard (or read) that the outgoing councillor Keating is forming a group of 4, will be collectively assessing candidates in each ward based on their financial acumen, plus their ability to solve problems and build relationships. The goal will be to raise enough money to do three mail-out campaigns for the candidates they endorse that could cost about $40,000 per candidate.
    We need to ask:
    – Should a group of 4 people now decide the shape of the city council?
    – Who will contribute this money? What do they expect in return ($40,000 for each of the 14 candidates)?
    – One of their qualifications is: “Build relationships” …with whom? Is it mainly about building relationships or diligently serving the communities and honestly representing the people?
    With this new “competition”, many believe, voters would consider more the candidates who will commit to the above three principles (term limits, salary rollback and true representation).
    As a result, you wouldn’t need this $40,000. Voters are becoming increasingly sick of money in politics and rejecting the notion of, “a few will decide the future of the many”. One of the side effects of the pandemic; voters are leaning more towards social media to learn about candidates vs. campaign pamphlets and street signs.

    *************
    TERM LIMITS
    The Arguments Against Term Limits Are Idealistic and Loaded with Political Rubbish.
    Some politicians argue: “let the election decide the limits”, or, we don’t have the legal jurisdiction to implement term limits. These lame arguments could fool a politically naïve person, but it is nothing but an attempt to evade the real issues.
    The facts are:
    Human nature dictates that, when one is seeking a career, their main preoccupation would be making decisions and choices to help keep and advance that career, not necessarily decisions in the public interest.
    On the other hand, it is completely the opposite in the case of a person who is committed to term limits. Her/his main preoccupation will be to do a good job so they can leave behind a good legacy.
    You don’t need to have the legal jurisdiction to implement term limits, you just need to make a written honest commitment to the voters.
    The Reality vs. Duplicity
    1- Career politicians lean towards making policies and decisions serving those who can help them get re-elected.
    2- An incumbent seeking re-election and eyeing a career inherently has unfair advantages, including access to resources paid by taxpayers.
    3- Heavy campaign financial support continues to go to incumbents because special interest groups will continue to finance their future campaigns, providing they have them in their back pocket.
    4- Career politicians are not necessarily the best choice to manage a city. Normally, they are the candidates with the heaviest-financed campaign and largest advertising.
    5- Some career politicians say, “I’ll leave when I accomplish my goals”.
    If they cannot accomplish anything within 4 or 8 years, they are not fit for the job, period.
    6- Since politics at the civic level is a highly demanding type of service, the longer the members of council stay, the more likely they would get “burnout”, or become too comfortable – Serving on council becomes just a job (not a service) – a “Sweet gig”.
    In such a case, some break for those who serve with honesty and sincerity is warranted. We can learn also from sport teams; a player, after while, would need a break to rest and rejuvenate.
    7- Accordingly, term limits will help to get BIG money and influential interest groups out of politics.
    8- Ordinary, skilled and qualified people will have a real opportunity to run for office. They will not need to raise a huge amount of money to compete with the incumbent’s war chest.

    *************

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