MLA Laurie Throness speaks to placement of high-risk sex offender in Chilliwack neighbourhood

“His place of residence is difficult to defend,” says Laurie Throness

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

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

During his first term as the region’s Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Throness was the Solicitor General for Corrections, and published a review on our provincial penitentiary system—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. “(And) I have been communicating with (them) this week.

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

Although Conway is no longer incarcerated, he’s still subject to more than two dozen “very stringent conditions, including 24-hour supervision, an ankle bracelet, and a list of prohibitions,” said Throness.

“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 of residents who object to 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 says 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 (we knew who he was). 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,” explained Throness, who says 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,” said Throness. “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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Camo-clad man carrying guns arrested in Chilliwack

Turns out the guns were trigger locked and the man was subsequently released by RCMP

Board chair says Chilliwack trustee’s censure results from ‘egregious’ breach of ethics

Four forms of reprimand for Barry Neufeld after his Facebook post about Dr. Theresa tam

Volunteers and donors behind Chilliwack’s boots and backpacks programs awarded

Principals and vice-principals chose Murray Honda, Staples and Canadian Tire for provincial award

Chilliwack RCMP support Special Olympics athletes

This year’s torch run aiming to raise $30,000 for B.C.’s athletes

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

New oversight for COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

Fraser Health is also sending in a germ-killing machine to fight the virus

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Police stop Lower Mainland men with parachutes from jumping off Okanagan bridge

The men had parachutes in their backpacks, and indicated they were going to jump off a bridge

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

$24M lottery ticket bought in Aldergrove by soon-to-be millionaire

Wednesday night’s Lotto 6/49 draw revealed a ticket worth millions was purchased in Aldergrove

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

Most Read