An NDP MLA is raising some troubling issues about a convicted sex offender who faced a backlash from the community after serving his time in prison.
Nicholas Simons says a ‘public notification’ issued this summer by Abbotsford Police was so lacking in essential information about James Conway, it caused unnecessary fear in the community and led to an outpouring of anger.
Simons says Community Living BC should have intervened with the facts.
He says Conway’s house was vandalized over a dozen times and the online reaction has been brutal.
“It’s not exactly a popular topic I suppose for politicians to come out and maybe make statements that appear to support a particular individual but it’s the principle of this case that needs to be looked at.”
Simons says Conway is developmentally disabled, was living in a specialized group home, not a halfway house, with 24-hour supervision, interior locks, alarm systems and video surveillance.
“I find that troubling that the minister who is responsible for essentially for ensuring that people with developmental disabilities have a particular kind of quality of life that she didn’t say anything about this.”
The MLA says had the public known the true facts, the fear expressed by the public would have been much less.
Conway moved to Abbotsford in August, sparking a wave of community protests.
In early November, the city went to court in an attempt to get his home shut down, arguing the property was not zoned for a “halfway house.”
Conway has a history of violating his release conditions. In February, he was arrested just nine days after being released when he sat next to a 14 year old girl on a transit bus.
The previous year he was arrested for looking down girls shirts while producing a teddy bear and wearing a fire department hat.
READ: APD August public notification about James Conway