Minister calls investigation into why Kelowna was not informed of child predator's release

'This should never happen'

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says he's ordered an investigation into why the public was not informed convicted sex offender Taylor Dueck was being released into the Kelowna area.

Dueck, 29, is facing charges of sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and breach of probation following an incident involving an 11-year-old in the bathroom of a Kelowna equestrian facility on Feb. 9, 2024.

“I am extremely concerned, in fact very angry over what has happened, that's why I have ordered an investigation for a full accounting of what took place — involving all provincial agencies and federal agencies and officials that were involved in this situation," Farnworth said.

"I want to ensure that there were not systems failures. I want to ensure that everything that should have been done was done, because quite frankly this should never happen.”

Castanet posed the question directly to Kelowna RCMP on Wednesday, asking specifically why other jurisdictions, like Abbotsford, issued a public warning about Dueck while none was issued in Kelowna.

"While we understand the commentary surrounding this case, there are multiple factors in the decision-making process for a PID (public information disclosure). I can now confirm that a PID was sought by the Kelowna RCMP prior to his release in Kelowna, however, the threshold was not met in this case based on the totality of the circumstances," said Kelowna RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Michael Gauthier.

"I encourage you to reach out to BC Corrections on this matter."

Thursday morning, BC United Party leader Kevin Falcon took up the issue.

"You know, as a parent of an 11-year-old myself, to see a young girl like that victimized by a pedophile like this sickens me and frankly it angers me — because I'm a little tired of having to hear the premier stand up and talk about how 'white hot angry he is' every time some incident like this happens, and yet nothing ever gets done until the next incident happens," Falcon said.

"Then he'll come out with another statement about how 'white hot angry' or some similar type of words, when nothing is getting better."

The parents of the 11-year-old victim tell Castanet they are hopeful the system will change so no other child and parents have to go through the same thing.

The victim's father says his daughter is currently in counselling, "she's a strong girl."

In both 2018 and 2022, Dueck was denied parole due to concerns he would reoffend.

The Parole Board of Canada ruled in 2022 he would "present a risk to re-offend against both strangers and acquaintances...of particular concern to the board is the psychologist's opinion that you posses the ability to '....quickly take advantage of any opportunities to offend.'

Dueck remains in custody in Kelowna and the BC Prosecution Service says the court has ordered a technical suitability report be prepared (to canvass his suitability for electronic monitoring). He made an appearance by video in Kelowna court Thursday.

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