Pastor Derek Reimer was recently in court in relation to mischief and causing a disturbance charges stemming from a February 25 drag queen story hour protest at Calgary’s Seton Library. Legal proceedings for those matters will continue December 5 & 6 and Rebel News will continue to bring you updates and coverage on that story as it unfolds at SavePastorDerek.com.
While those major legal battles are still looming for the embroiled street preacher, one of his previous charges was recently dropped by the Crown, and Rebel News was joined by Sarah Miller of JSS Barristers for an update on that victory.
Pastor Derek Reimer’s ‘violation’ on the now dropped charge consisted of reading the Bible using an amplifier during a protest outside a Calgary pool, a protest resulting from the facility's transgender change room policies. Reimer was not exceeding decibel restrictions, nor was his amplification device unlawful, but rather a Peace Officer issued him a ticket because, per their judgment, reading a Bible in public was deemed to cross the threshold of what a reasonable person would consider annoying.
The charge was dropped because a witness failed to testify, but the likelihood of the charge sticking was never very high… though with the treatment pastors have received in Alberta the last few years it isn’t much of stretch to imagine authorities pursuing this laughable case tirelessly just to make a point.
While the charge being dropped is undoubtedly relief for the pastor, Sarah Miller joined the rank of the lawyers we’ve spoken to over the last few months, whether due to the Ingram decision or various other charges being dropped, who lament the fact that by dropping proceedings the Crown is also avoiding serious questions about Charter violations that have occurred over the last few years, both as a result of Covid-19 restrictions and now due to restrictions on various forms of protests, whether at swimming pools or city libraries.
We also asked Miller about the amount of resources that go into prosecuting a seemingly frivolous case like this while court backlogs and access to justice concerns prevail in the province, even on a charge like this which was eventually dropped.
While this is certainly a legal win for Pastor Derek, his biggest legal battle for protesting drag story hours is still ahead of him. To ensure he has a fair chance in court, consider chipping in at SavePastorDerek.com.