Protesters call on Ottawa to help remove 3-time sex offender
Protesters hoping to remove a three-time sex offender from Mission, B.C., are taking their fight to the next level – and say they won't stop until he's gone.
The group is now calling for federal action to get James Conway out of their community, after learning the repeat high-risk sex offender is living in the community.
On Friday, the group gathered outside the office of Mission-Matsqui MP Jati Sidhu, asking for changes to legislation that would make it harder for sex offenders to be relocated in small communities.
One protester said they want tougher laws, and a better system of notifying other residents of the community before an offender is relocated.
"None of the neighbours were notified," rally organizer Mitch Smith said.
The group told CTV News that they will continue to rally until changes are made and Conway is moved outside of Mission.
"I don't understand how you can stay where you're not wanted... Go away or we're going to make you go away," protester Kimberly Hawkins said in a message directed at Conway.
Another protester said she believes people should have the right to rehabilitation, but not to "scare a town."
The city's mayor is already on board, and on Thursday protesters took their message to the provincial level, speaking with the MLA who says he shares their concerns.
The group also took their protest to the home where Conway is said to be living on Thursday, and there is now a police presence at the residence.
These efforts started Sunday after BC Corrections issued a notice to say that Conway would be relocating from Abbotsford, where he faced a similar backlash. His halfway house was vandalized at least 15 times, according to police, including an incident when someone intentionally flooded the home by running a garden hose into the ventilation system.
Conway, who has a history of targeting young women and girls, is under strict conditions. Conway will be under 24-hour house arrest, and may not leave without supervision. He is also being monitored electronically.
But that hasn't stopped protesters, who just want him to leave their city.
"Why does he get a chance to come out and put one more family and one more child through this?" said Kimberly Hawkins.
"Enough families in many communities have been through this. This battle is not going to stop here."
Conway was convicted in 2000 of a sexual assault, and then of sexual interference of a person under 16 in 2005. He breached conditions several times, including in February 2015, where he was arrested for sitting next to a young girl on a TransLink bus.
If anyone witnesses Conway violating his conditions, they are asked to call local police immediately.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Sheila Scott