TDF serves constitutional notice in defence of pastor charged for praying in municipal building

A press release by The Democracy Fund stated, 'Reimer was silently praying with his back to a wall in the municipal complex on March 14, 2023, with four other individuals, when he was approached by four police officers and two security guards who issued him a Trespass Notice.'

TDF serves constitutional notice in defence of pastor charged for praying in municipal building
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Calgary Pastor Derek Reimer faces charges of trespassing at city hall after a prayer gathering was considered a "religious event without a permit."

"Clearly, there is a distinction between religious activity and holding a religious event. A public prayer ban is not something we should tolerate in a free and democratic society," explained Reimer's lawyer, Alan Honner.

Reimer, the pastor at Mission 7 Ministries, leads outreach efforts focused on the homeless and vulnerable in Calgary's downtown core. According to a recent press release by The Democracy Fund (TDF):

Reimer was silently praying with his back to a wall in the municipal complex on March 14, 2023, with four other individuals, when he was approached by four police officers and two security guards who issued him a Trespass Notice.

His alleged offence is holding a religious event inside the municipal complex without a permit, which is contrary to Bylaw 38M2012.

Previously, Reimer was ticketed for feeding the homeless during the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which Calgary police deemed an illegal public gathering.

Reimer was also arrested and incarcerated early in 2023 for praying near drag queen story hours taking place at Calgary municipal libraries. Reimer was criminally charged with causing a disturbance and mischief.

Alan Honner, TDF's litigation director and Reimer's lawyer, says the trespassing charge stemming from his prayers at city hall makes little sense, stating, "Is the City of Calgary seriously saying you need a permit to pray in a municipal building?"

The application and trial are scheduled to be heard on February 6-7, 2024, at the Calgary Law Courts.

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