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

Chilliwack reaction to TMX approval coming in mixed

Feedback has been ranging from outright acceptance to outrage

Loaded firearm in a backpack nets 2.5 years jail for Chilliwack offender

Shaun Fitzgerald, aged 38, has 45 adult convictions but vows to make changes

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

RCMP believe Missing Hope teenager was headed to Chilliwack

Keely Reeze Loewen, 18, last in contact with a family member on June 13

Chilliwack residents reminded to ‘stand by your pan’ after kitchen fire Tuesday

Unattended pot on stove leads to fire and smoke damage in McIntosh apartment unit

VIDEO: Weekly roundup of what’s making the news in Chilliwack

Check out what to expect in the June 21 print edition

New Westminster police seek video of fight between two teens

Police responded to a fight at Pier Park in the early hours of June 14

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

B.C. temporarily halts resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

‘The Fonz’ gives thumbs up in letter to dyslexic students at B.C. school

Students in Maple Ridge reached out to Henry Winkler after reading one his Zipster books.

Most Read