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CALGARY, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) – Calgary City Council passed a new bylaw yesterday banning protesting against drag queen story times or other LGBTQ events at public facilities in an expedited process that did not include a usual committee and public consultation process.

In a 10-5 vote, Calgary City councillors approved a new “Safe and Inclusive Access Bylaw” that would disallow “specified protests” both inside and outside all city-owned and affiliated public buildings.

This means protests by pastors or concerned parents against radical LGBTQ events at public buildings will be barred within a 100-meter buffer zone around city recreation centres and libraries.

Those who are found guilty of breaking the new rules could face fines of up to $10,000 one year in jail.

The bylaw was in effect immediately after it was passed.

The sudden introduction of the new “buffer” zone bylaw comes after Christian pastor Derek Reimer was jailed and charged for protesting a children’s drag queen story time at a public library over a week ago.

He was released from a Calgary jail last week after he decided to sign bail papers to take care of an urgent medical condition. However, it appears he was arrested again for protesting the new bylaw.

Also, in recent weeks concerned parents have been protesting outside a public swimming pool in Calgary after an incident that saw a 15-year-old girl horrified after witnessing a naked man, who now lives as a “transgender woman,” in the women’s change room at the pool.

Normally, city bylaws go through a lengthy process of review before being passed, which includes a committee review along with a public consultation process, at which citizens can give their input.

Some of the five city councillors who voted against the bylaw questioned whether the new rule is even constitutional and were concerned at how fast the bylaw was passed.

Councillor Dan McLean, who voted against the bylaw, said he would have liked to see “some more language included for safe access for all Calgarians.”

“A lot of people aren’t safe in our city recreation facilities or libraries from public disorder or social disorder and crime. So that’s not included in this bylaw, but I would have preferred to see some language around that,” he said

Left-leaning Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek has pushed a radical agenda since being elected in 2021 that has gone after pro-life and pro-family citizens. She put her full support behind the buffer zone bylaw.

In June 2022, Calgary City Council under Gondek amended the city’s bylaws to “specifically prohibit insulting or demeaning behavior, including unwanted sexual advances, or harassing anyone on the basis of age, race, sexual orientation, disability, gender, gender identity or gender expression, among others.”

Yesterday, city councillors also approved in a 10-4 vote amending the street harassment bylaw to add the term “intimidation.”

Gondek had vowed to use the city’s street harassment bylaw to go after drag queen story time protesters about a month ago after some of the events were postponed by objectors.

According to Katie Black, Calgary’s general manager of community services, the city rammed through the bylaw because of the increase in protests against drag queen story times and events that she claimed target the LGBTQ community.

“If we had decided to allow our more traditional processes to run their course, it would have been over a month before we could have been before you with this recommendation,” Black said.

“Our assessment as an administration was that these issues were far too urgent for us to wait to start the discussion until late April.”

Calgary bylaw is ‘unconstitutional,’ says freedom group

According to the wording of the bylaw, a “specified protest” is defined as follows:

As a “means an expression of objection or disapproval towards an idea or action related to race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, gender identity, gender expression, physical disability, mental disability, age, ancestry, place of origin, marital status, source of income, family status or sexual orientation by any means, including graphic, verbal, or written means, but does not include messaging at an event scheduled by a library or recreation facility.”

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) was quick to blast Calgary’s new buffer zone bylaw, saying it “violates” an individual’s right to peacefully protest.

“Ban peaceful protests, based on speculation about concern & not allow proper consultation,” the JCCRF tweeted.

“Calgary’s proposed bylaw would prohibit protest >100m of public facilities. Restricting the right to protest is unconstitutional and violates Calgarians’ freedom to peaceful assembly.”

Family lawyer Don Wilson said Calgary’s new “buffer” zone bylaw could be considered a stretch for city authority.

“Mayor Gondek’s bylaw is probably outside of the jurisdiction of the city and, in any event, an unreasonable infringement on freedom of expression,” Wilson tweeted.

Alberta already has a province-wide “bubble zone” law, passed in 2018, that came into force under then-Premier Rachel Notley of the far-left, pro-abortion New Democratic Party (NDP). This law makes it illegal for pro-lifers and counselors to come within 50 meters of an abortion facility for any activism-related purposes.

Under the harsh law, first-time violators face a $5,000 fine and up to six months in prison.

Last year, Calgary City Council passed a motion directing its managers to draft a bylaw that would severely limit the distribution of pro-life flyers to people’s homes in what is being described by a leading pro-life group as a direct attack on “pro-life speech.”

While new Conservative Premier Danielle Smith seems to be pro-freedom and against people being coerced into taking COVID shots, she did say last year to LifeSiteNews it’s “polite” to use biologically incorrect pronouns when asked to do so.

Also, she said she would not re-examine the province’s “bubble zone” law that bans pro-life protesters from gathering near abortion clinics.