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

James Conway moved to Chilliwack in 2017, but neighbours say they recently learned of his address

At its peak, dozens of protesters gathered outside a Chilliwack home on Monday evening waving signs that read: “PUBLIC ACCESS TO NSOR,” “Protect Our Neighbourhood!” and “CORRECT CORRECTIONS!” to name a few.

“It was good, we had a lot of support,” said Kelly Wood, who organized the event. “We still need more numbers and more support, but it was definitely a beginning.”

It’s recently come to light that B.C. Corrections is most likely housing repeated child sex offender James William Conway in a family-friendly neighbourhood in Chilliwack’s Eastern Hillsides. A location the government agency listed as “remote” and “undisclosed” when they publicly addressed his moving to Chilliwack last year.

Undisclosed, that is, until neighbours spotted the 43-year-old wearing an electronic ankle monitor in their beloved neighbourhood.

“I don’t know how (Corrections) can do this: put a high risk sex offender in a community with children everywhere and be okay with it,” said Wood in an exacerbated tone. “I’ve been told by Corrections on five separate occasions to keep my kids away from him, that he’s very, very dangerous.”

So in a quick movement that follows the pattern established by two of Conway’s previous communities, Wood was able to get Chilliwack residents to rally at the Ruddock Road address to let lawmakers and Conway know his presence is unwelcome.

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

“It doesn’t just affect his direct neighbour, it affects everyone,” continued Wood. “It affects the whole area. Remote should be remote … this is like dangling a carrot and it’s wrong for him and wrong for our children.”

As word of the protest spread quickly on social media, even the local chapter of Creep Catchers, a controversial vigilante group that attempts to identify pedophiles, invited its followers to voice their concerns at the rally.

“But it’s not about what he’s done,” said Wood. “It’s about Corrections having failed us yet again. It’s frustrating and feels so violating.”

Per his parole conditions, Conway is subject to 24-hour-supervision, and although B.C. Corrections will neither confirm nor deny he’s living in the house where neighbours spotted him, the property is owned by the government of B.C., according to a City of Chilliwack spokesperson.

“We need the community to start rallying and bringing their resources to help the cause to get him out,” added Wood. “I’m only one person, I can’t do it all. I need help from other people.”

Following that, and based on the momentum of this week’s rally, Wood says she’s going to continue with her mission to get Conway out of Chilliwack. “I’m going to try and plan something else in the (future)—maybe a barbecue the next few weeks.

“So far the response (to our efforts) has been really positive because now we know and can be aware to check for our children,” said Wood. “At the end of it all, everything happens for a reason, so I think maybe this saved a little kid or even my daughter.”

With a file from Paul Henderson.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fire ignites along Highway 7 between Hope and Agassiz

Nine volunteers doused the flames with what they had before fire crews arrived

Car crashes through front doors at Hope Pharmasave

No one injured as a result of Thursday morning crash, and store is still open despite the damage

Hope school board candidates talk SOGI, successes and rocky patches of past four years

Six candidates are vying for three Hope trustee positions up for grabs in an Oct. 20 election

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Cindy Young makes second run for top political job at the District of Hope

Young, in her run for mayor, is campaigning to attract business to Hope and keep local youth in the community

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

VIDEO: Man killed in shooting at Abbotsford bank

Police believe incident on Thursday night to be targeted

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read