Trudeau condemns pepper spray attack on Syrian refugees in Vancouver

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is condemning an attack on Syrian refugees in Vancouver, after police say a man pepper-sprayed a group at a welcoming event.

See Full Article

Officers say the incident happened outside of the Muslim Association of Canada Centre, just after 10:30 p.m. on Friday.

The centre was holding a "Welcome Night" for refugees that evening, and a crowd of people were gathered outside when an unknown man approached on a bicycle.

The man then pepper-sprayed the group of men, women and children, a police press release says.

Witnesses at the scene said the man sprayed as many as 15 to 30 people.

"I saw people running out of the centre and crying and coughing," a witness named Fatima told CTV Vancouver. "I (could) smell the black pepper. And it did hurt, of course."

Paramedics arrived on scene to treat those hit by the spray. They said nobody was seriously injured.

On Saturday, Trudeau responded to the incident on Twitter.

"I condemn the attack on Syrian refugees in Vancouver," the prime minister wrote. "This isn't who we are – and doesn't reflect the warm welcome Canadians have offered."

I condemn the attack on Syrian refugees in Vancouver. This isn't who we are - and doesn't reflect the warm welcome Canadians have offered.

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 9, 2016

Police are now looking for the man on the bicycle, who is believed to have been wearing a white hooded sweatshirt at the time of the event.

Officers say the motive for the pepper-spraying is unknown at this time, and that no arrests have been made so far.

With files from CTV Vancouver



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Wandering child no excuse for police to search home, Appeal Court rules

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A man with a marijuana grow-op in his basement has had his drug conviction thrown out because police had no right to enter his home -- even though his four-year-old had been found wandering alone near a busy intersection dressed only in a diaper, Ontario's top court ruled on Wednesday. Source
  • U.K. police, Muslim youths link hands to mark London attack

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Police officers, Muslim youths and hundreds of others linked hands Wednesday on Westminster Bridge to honour the four people who died in an attack that started on the span a week earlier. The bridge fell silent at 2:40 p.m. Source
  • Review finds major problems at Royal Military College of Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A review of the Royal Military College of Canada has uncovered significant problems at the prestigious institution in Kingston, Ont., prompting a promise of immediate action from none other than the country's top soldier. Source
  • Amid gym scale controversy, Carleton puts scales in changing rooms

    Canada News CTV News
    An Ontario university that stirred up controversy by removing the scales from its primary athletic facility says everyone now has the means of weighing themselves at the centre again. Ottawa's Carleton University says it now has scales in both men's and women's changing rooms in a bid to compromise with those who were angry when the scale in the main gym was removed earlier this month. Source
  • Warmer weather on way for Maritimes, but more snow possible

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - Milder weather is on its way to parts of the Maritimes, but a meteorologist warns that winter may not be loosening its grip on the region quite yet. Environment Canada meteorologist Bob Robichaud says a low pressure system will continue pumping cold air over Nova Scotia before it pulls away late Friday. Source
  • Nature Conservancy buys 'pristine' property along Lake Superior

    Canada News CTV News
    The Nature Conservancy of Canada says it has purchased more than 1,000 hectares of property on the north shore of Lake Superior that is crucial to species such as bald eagles and peregrine falcons. It says the Big Trout Bay area is one of the last privately owned, undeveloped shorelines between Thunder Bay, Ont. Source
  • Wristbands supporting Ottawa officer not to be worn on duty, police chief says

    Canada News CBC News
    Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau says on-duty officers should not wear wristbands showing support for one of their colleagues charged with manslaughter in the death of Abdirahman Abdi.Ottawa police don wristbands in support of officer charged with manslaughterPretrial set for Ottawa police officer charged in Abdirahman Abdi's deathOttawa Police Service members and their supporters have purchased hundreds of wristbands showing solidarity with Const. Source
  • First lady helps present courage awards to 13 women

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Melania Trump is helping present courage awards to 13 women from around the world. The first lady and top State Department official Thomas Shannon are presenting the awards in Washington. Mrs. Source
  • Youth pass to travel across Canada yours for only $150 — once Via Rail fixes website glitch

    Canada News CBC News
    Via Rail announced an unbeatable deal for young travellers Tuesday night — a rail pass that will allow those between the ages of 12 and 25 to travel on all routes, as much as they want for the month of July. Source
  • China's demand for elephant ivory drops: report

    World News CTV News
    NAIROBI, Kenya -- The price of ivory in China has dropped sharply as the country plans to end the legal trade in ivory later this year, a leading elephant conservation group said in a new report Wednesday. Source