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.

Just Posted

Six Sto:lo chiefs sign MOU agreement affirming Indigenous rights

Moving to next phase of nation-to-nation negotiation in preparation for final treaty

Chilliwack Chiefs sit atop BCHL standings

No one expected the young Chiefs to be this good this fast, but can it last?

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

On Oct. 19, gospel musician, Rob Berg, hosts first concert in Chilliwack in 25 years

Held at the Sardis Community Church, the concert celebrates his career and new album release

Outgoing Chilliwack board chair says anti-SOGI trustees won’t be allowed in schools

Candidates’ anti-LGBTQ rhetoric makes for awkward situations with students, teachers, administrators

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

B.C. man who abducted and assaulted 11-year-old girl has parole rules tightened

Brian Abrosimo made ‘inappropriate and sexualized’ comments to female staff

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read