Several rallies were held in the previous communities Conway was placed in lead to his removal. Chilliwack residents are now hoping for the same. (Black Press file)

MLA speaks to high-risk sex offender’s placement in B.C. neighbourhood

Liberal Laurie Throness says ‘His place of residence is difficult to defend’

When high-risk sex offender James William Conway was moved to Chilliwack last year, the local MLA said although he was notified, he didn’t have any objections.

However, Laurie Throness now believes Conway’s location is less than ideal.

“Last year, I didn’t object to his placement in Chilliwack because he has to live somewhere in B.C.,” said the Chilliwack-Hope representative said.

“But now that we know (where he is) and know families are on either side, his place of residence is difficult to defend.”

Throness was the Solicitor General for Corrections during his first term, and published a review on our provincial penitentiary system called Standing Against Violence: A Safety Review of BC Corrections in December 2014.

RELATED: Chilliwack Mayor and neighbours protest high-risk sex offender in town

“I have a good relationship with BC Corrections,” said Throness. “I have been communicating with (them) this week.

“Of course my first concern is public safety. But there’s no immediate danger to children. Mr. Conway is locked down tight.”

Conway remains subject to more than two dozen “very stringent conditions,” including 24-hour supervision and an ankle bracelet.

“I am told that he has been completely compliant for the past three years,” he added.

However, Kelly Wood, who lives near Conway and organized a rally against his placement in their family-friendly neighbourhood, worries about what the convicted sex offender can get away with.

RELATED: Dozens rally outside presumed B.C. home of repeat sex offender (VIDEO)

“It’s just so violating,” Wood told The Progress during an earlier interview. “He was waving at my girlfriend as she drove by and she called me freaking out. Called Corrections and they said since he’s able to do what he wants in his own home.”

Since learning who her neighbour is, Wood said she’s barely slept and hasn’t eaten in days. “All I can think about is this creep and it’s bothering me that I’m even thinking about it this much … but at least I can do my due-diligence (as a mother now).

“My son would ride his bike past (Conway’s) gate before. Now that I’m aware, he isn’t allowed.”

And while Throness agrees that Conway’s current placement is no longer as originally described, the region’s recent growth may have played a factor.

“In the sense of proximity, it was a more remote area three years ago,” he said, adding he’s recently toured the area.

“There’s a brand new subdivision going in there, and there’s a clearing across from (what’s believed to be Conway’s) residence, so the area’s becoming less remote (daily).

“Unfortunately, there’s no long-term solution for Mr. Conway. He’s disable and may never get better. So I will continue to work with BC Corrections to explore other options for a long term solution to ensure the public is safe.”


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Castlegar council set to rule on three retail cannabis proposals

Residents have until Dec. 27 to comment on the business proposals

West Kootenay police take 18 impaired drivers off the road

Eight drivers were criminally impaired, says Sgt. Badry from West Kootenay Traffic Services

West Kootenay highways a mess as heavy snowfall continues

‘Roads are very icy, people have to be patient and have to slow down’

Nelson-area man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Snowfall warning across the West Kootenay

A strong Pacific frontal system had Environment Canada issuing a snowfall advisory early Tuesday

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities

Michael Spavor, founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, “is presently missing in China”

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Most Read