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.

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

Just Posted

Harrison officials unveil reopening plan

As Phase 3 takes effect, village amenities, services resume

District residents split on Teacup property development

DOK survey indicates a close split in favour and against exclusion application

Chilliwack youth planning solidarity march against racism

Organizer hoping to ‘create a type of a energy in the city that we will not be silent about racism’

PHOTOS: Harrison Hot Springs Resort reopens

Reopening both celebrated and sombre as Harrison opens up again

Fraser River freshet peak is coming soon

Predictions for 2020 by River Forecast Centre has the freshet peak at the Mission gauge for June 4-5

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read