Feel good about your information and become a local news champion today

Mischief, disturbance charges for Derek Reimer after Seton Library drag disruption

Calgary police say it was a hate-motivated incident.

Calgary police have arrested and charged a man after an alleged hate-motivated incident at the Seton Library in late February.

City of Calgary bylaw officers have also charged the accused.

Around 11:15 a.m. on Feb. 25, CPS officers attended the location to check on a planned demonstration during the Reading with Royalty event.

Reading with Royalty events are family-friendly storytime programs delivered by the Calgary Public Library. They’re led by a local drag queen, king and monarch performers.

According to police, officers were subsequently called to a classroom after reports that several people allegedly entered the classroom and shouted homophobic and transphobic slurs at children and parents in attendance.

Two people in attendance assisted library staff in removing the individuals. Officers later removed protesters from the facility. They stayed at the site to ensure safety at the location, police said.

After an investigation, one person is facing charges.

Derek Scott Reimer, 36, has been charged with one count of causing a disturbance and one count of mischief. Reimer is also facing six counts of harassment under the city’s Public Behaviour bylaw.

According to the City, given the nature of this incident, the charges were issued on a long form summons where each offence carries a penalty of up to $10,000 and, in default of payment, up to six months imprisonment.

“These amendments were created as a clear message that Calgary is a place everyone should feel welcome and safe, and free from harassment,” said Ryan Pleckaitis, Chief of Community Standards for The City of Calgary, in a prepared release.

Reimer was a Ward 9 candidate in the 2021 Calgary municipal election.

Calgary police said that hate motivation doesn’t result in additional charges, but it could impact sentencing if the accused is found guilty.

The City of Calgary reminds all citizens that the laws and bylaws apply to both sides equally.

Mayor Gondek wanted admin answers on bylaw application

After the incident, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek posted to Twitter that she was going to dig into answers around the application of the city’s street harassment bylaw.

Also earlier this week, the City had said it wouldn’t pursue tickets against a pair of teens initially charged under the city bylaw. The City said it was an opportunity to educate on the bylaw contents.

The mayor reiterated her stance earlier this week during a scrum with media when asked about the confusion around how the bylaw is – or isn’t – applied.

“I have indicated to administration that I need a much better understanding of the events that have taken place and how we’ve managed them,” the mayor said.

“I have been given assurances from our administration. That they will be coming to us with information about exactly what happened and how processes can be improved into the future.”

Meanwhile, Calgary police issued a statement Thursday afternoon in relation to allegations of indecent exposure at a Canyon Meadows pool change room. They said after an investigation, those claims were proven to be unfounded.

That situation has prompted a string of ongoing transphobic and homophobic protests at city rec facilities.

MORE READING: Legal definitions influence Calgary’s ability to deal with protests ‘rooted in hatred’