A high-risk sex offender who drew protests and lawsuits in Abbotsford and Mission is on his way to Chilliwack.
And the mayor doesn’t like it.
James Conway, 42, is a high risk sex offender and is the subject of a public notification conducted by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Corrections Branch, which announced the move in a statement Monday.
Conway has a criminal history which includes three sexual offences against children, including sexual interference of a person under 16, as well as sexual assault, arson damaging property, failure to comply with disposition and breach of recognizance.
”I don’t believe any community wants a convicted offender to move into their neighbourhood, and Chilliwack is no different,” Mayor Sharon Gaetz said. “The safety of the public, especially children, is of deep importance to us.”
She added, however, the city can’t confirm where he is living nor does the city have any authority to restrict his movements.
“As a municipality we have no authority over BC Corrections or the Ministry of Public Safety. They are responsible for providing correctional services and programs and for ensuring Mr. Conway adheres to his court-ordered conditions.”
Conway is 76 centimetres (6’4”) tall and weighs 113 kilograms (250 pounds). He is Caucasian with brown hair and blue eyes.
Conway, who is developmentally disabled, was in the news last year repeatedly when some residents in Abbotsford and then Mission were vocal about his presence in their communities.
Back in 2015, the City of Abbotsford went to court to have Conway removed from a home on Joanita Place. The lawsuit alleged the property’s owners, Brian Vos and Fiona Mitchell, as well as supervisor Ed Holroyd and WJS Canada, were using a property designated residential for institutional purposes.
In July 2016, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced the then 41-year-old was moving to Mission.
Then at the beginning of August 2016, Conway did move from Abbotsford to Mission after a long series of protests by residents to have him removed. A woman who organized protests against Conway’s presence in Abbotsford said she was “completely thrilled” when she found out he was leaving town.
Then it was Mission’s turn for protests, leading to pressure to relocate him yet again. Protesters came out with signs saying that Conway should leave Mission, saying “Keep our children safe” and asking drivers on the road to honk their support.
Then the District of Mission filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court claiming the home Conway was living in did not match the zoning.
Three months later, in December, it was revealed there was a conflict of interest involving the housing in Mission.
The review was ordered in August after allegations of a possible conflict were raised when it became public that the home, located on Dewdney Trunk Road close to city hall, had been purchased by Lynett Stuckey-Mack, and was being leased back to WJS Canada to house Conway.
Stuckey-Mack is a manager with WJS Canada, which was awarded the housing contract from Community Living BC (CLBC).
– with files from Abbotsford News and the Mission City Record