Calgary city administration wants to ban “specified” protesters from being within 100 metres of public libraries and recreation centres. 

The proposed amendment to the existing harassment bylaws comes after a Calgary street pastor was arrested for protesting a drag queen story hour at a public library. 

Council will debate the potential new bylaw and amendment on Tuesday, while city administration recommends changes be approved immediately.

The  “Safe and Inclusive Access Bylaw” would put 100-metre buffer zones around public facilities, but only for “specified protests.” Those found guilty of breaching the bylaw could be subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and up to one year in prison.

The bylaw would disallow “specified protests” inside the buildings or within the 100-metre buffer zone.

Administration is also proposing an update to the street harassment bylaw that would expand the definition to include the word “intimidation.”

The proposed changes also come following protests at city pools after a biological male claiming to be a transgender woman exposed himself to children in a women’s change room at a city pool. Calgary police investigated the allegations and determined they were unfounded, but a 15-year-old girl told the Western Standard she saw a man’s penis at Canyon Meadows Pool on Feb. 1.

“I was just finishing up changing when a man came in with an arrogant look on his face. He promptly undressed,” the girl said. 

“He walked around in the room naked for some time. I got out of there as fast as I could. I felt shaken up and horrified that this was allowed to happen.”

The girl’s father, Allan Eisses, said the Calgary Police Service added salt to the wounds when it released a statement saying the parent’s reports about the incident were untrue.


  • Rachel Emmanuel

    Rachel is a seasoned political reporter who’s covered government institutions from a variety of levels. A Carleton University journalism graduate, she was a multimedia reporter for three local Niagara newspapers. Her work has been published in the Toronto Star. Rachel was the inaugural recipient of the Political Matters internship, placing her at The Globe and Mail’s parliamentary bureau. She spent three years covering the federal government for iPolitics. Rachel is the Alberta correspondent for True North based in Edmonton.