The District of Mission is moving forward with its attempt to force sex offender James Conway out of the community.
Deputy chief administrative officer Mike Younie has confirmed that the district has filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court claiming that Conway and W.J. Stelmaschuk and Associates (WJS), the company keeping him under constant surveillance, are in violation of local zoning bylaws.
The suit also names Lynnett Fay Stucky-Mack, the owner of the home where Conway lives; and Ed Holroyd, Conway’s care provider.
Conway, who is developmentally disabled, has a long criminal history, including three sexual offences against children, as well as sexual interference of a person under 16, sexual assault and arson.
He has also breached the conditions of his release at least twice.
At the beginning of August, 2016, Conway moved from Abbotsford to Mission after a long series of protests by residents to have him removed. The City of Abbotsford launched a similar lawsuit, stating the home where Conway was living was in contravention of zoning bylaws, but has withdrawn it now that Conway has moved.
Mission’s lawsuit indicates that Conway currently lives in a home that is lo0cated within close vicinity of a daycare, two Montessori schools, and Riverside College.
The claim states the house is zoned as a single family residence and that the “principal use of the residential home is not being used as a single family dwelling.”
It also says the home “is being used as a for-profit commercial use to detain, supervise, monitor, provide treatment, counselling services and/or other services, care and /or assistance to James William Conway by Ed Holroyd.”
The district believes a business license is needed to provide that kind of service and that a different type of zoning is required to operate the residence in this manner.
The district is seeking an injunction prevent WJS from using the home to supervise Conway.
“There is a zoning infraction here, we believe, so we are pursuing that,” said Mayor Randy Hawes regarding the lawsuit.
“There are areas in our city that would be zoned for the use that that house is being put to. That particular address though is not one of those locations. So, he’s got to go,” Hawes added.
If the lawsuit is successful and Conway is forced to move out of the residence, Hawes said there is no guarantee that he will leave the community.
“At that point, they will look for a new place for him. If it happens to be in Mission and it’s zoned, it would be very difficult for us to do anything. I’d be pretty disappointed if that happened. I think it would be wrong.”