Calgary pastor accused of hate-motived crimes against LGBTQ community arrested again

A Calgary pastor charged with hate-motivated crimes stemming from an altercation at a children's library drag event has been arrested again, the third time in the past five weeks.

Derek Reimer remains in custody and will appear in court Thursday

A man is flanked by two Calgary police officers, one on each arm, who appear to be marching him away from a building.
Derek Reimer is escorted away from an all-ages drag brunch at the Rec Room on Jan. 15. More recently, he was arrested and charged with hate-motivated crimes after protesting at or near storytime events at the Seton, Signal Hill and Saddletown libraries. (Brangwyn Jones)

A Calgary pastor charged with hate-motivated crimes stemming from an altercation at a children's library drag event has been arrested again, the third time in the past five weeks.

Derek Reimer appeared briefly before a justice of the peace on Wednesday as the Crown indicated it plans to apply to revoke his bail.

Reimer was protesting near another drag storytime event when he was arrested on outstanding warrants. He now faces eight new offences, including criminal harassment, causing a disturbance and breaching his release conditions. 

Calgary police confirm the new charges are being investigated as hate motivated.

Reimer runs Mission 7, a street ministry which, according to its website, hosts gatherings four days a week in Calgary. 

Reimer is alleged to have reoffended just three days after he was granted bail for a second time on March 22.

Court documents show Reimer is accused of committing the eight offences — five of which are breach charges — between March 25 and April 2. 

Hate-speech allegations

Charges of causing a disturbance and criminal harassment stem from incidents on March 27. Reimer is accused of showing up with a microphone near a Reading with Royalty event at the Country Hills Library, where police say he was "shouting hate-speech at event participants."

The same day, Reimer walked into the library and asked to speak to a manager. He then recorded an interaction. Police allege "[Reimer] made several derogatory comments, engaged in hate speech as well as harassing comments towards a manager and staff, leaving them concerned for their safety."

A second charge of causing a disturbance was laid in connection with an incident on Sunday, when Reimer was spotted outside the Saddletown Library, again with a microphone. He was observed and recorded shouting hate speech at event participants, according to police.

"Reimer's comments are believed to have been directed at library patrons ahead of a scheduled Reading with Royalty event," CPS said in a release. 

History of violence

The pastor has a 12-year history of committing violent crimes in both Alberta and Manitoba, including convictions for animal abuse and aggravated assault.

More recently, Reimer has been showing up at LGBTQ events and is accused of committing crimes motivated by hate for the trans and gay communities. 

In the last several weeks, he has targeted public libraries' Reading with Royalty events, geared toward children ages six to eight, where attendees are invited to dress in their best outfit, cape or crown. 

Reimer's first arrest came days after he showed up at a Reading with Royalty event at the Seton Library on Feb. 25. 

Bail granted a 2nd time

On that day, he allegedly pushed parents to get to the front of the room and proceeded to shout homophobic and transphobic slurs at children who attended the event.

Reimer was charged with mischief and causing a disturbance. 

Although he initially refused to sign his bail conditions, after spending several days behind bars, Reimer ultimately agreed to stay away from LGBTQ2S+ community members and events.

A week after his release, Reimer showed up at another Reading with Royalty event, this time at the Signal Hill Library.

Reimer's conditions at that time prohibited him from coming within 200 metres of the event. When police attended, he was only 160 metres from the door. He was charged with breaching his bail conditions. 

On March 22, a week after his second arrest, Reimer was granted bail again.

His conditions included staying 300 metres away from Reading with Royalty and other events organized by the LGBTQ community. 

Reimer was also prohibited from intentionally interfering with any person trying to participate in an LGBTQ event. He was ordered not to have contact or communication with any known participant, performer or spectator at a Reading with Royalty event.

Police and prosecutors have not yet offered details on the alleged circumstances of Reimer's new charges.

He will be back in court on Thursday.


Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary crime reporter

Meghan Grant is a justice affairs reporter. She has been covering courts, crime and stories of police accountability in southern Alberta for more than a decade. Send Meghan a story tip at or follow her on Twitter.