Tima Kurdi says pepper-spray attack doesn't reflect 'majority' of Canadians' views

VANCOUVER -- A high-profile member of Canada's Syrian community says Friday night's pepper spraying of Syrian refugees at a welcome event in Vancouver was likely a one-off event and doesn't reflect how the majority of Canadians view the newly arrived migrants.

See Full Article

Tima Kurdi -- the aunt of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, who drowned while fleeing civil strife in Syria -- says the support Canadians have shown to refugees is "unbelievable" and they shouldn't be blamed for Friday night's incident.

"To be honest, Canadian people would not do this, the majority of them," Kurdi said. "They are big supporters to the refugees."

A large group was gathered outside a Muslim Association of Canada centre during an event for newly arrived Syrian refugees last Friday around 10:30 p.m. when a man on a bicycle rode by and pepper sprayed about 15 people, said Vancouver police spokesman St. Randy Fincham.

Fincham said the force is investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Canada's Immigration Minister John McCallum described it as an "isolated incident" that won't tarnish the country's migrant-friendly reputation.

The world recognizes that Canada is very welcoming to refugees, and that message will continue to resonate, said McCallum.

Canada has been praised on the world stage for its pledge to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of next month, and a photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcoming migrants at the airport was published around the world.

McCallum said his government utterly condemns the pepper spraying and says Syrian refugees have no reason to feel unsafe in Canada.

"I think that the experience that the vast majority of them have, of being welcomed at the airport, and given what they need, clothing and hats and boots, and large numbers of welcoming Canadians ... I think that sent a very clear message," he said.

"I think that experience shared by so many of the refugees is going to easily trump this one isolated incident."

British Columbia's jobs minister Shirley Bond said she is dismayed that the province will be talked about across the country because of a "shameful act."

She said the incident is entirely contrary to what she's seen across B.C., where people have opened their homes and offered generosity to Syrian refugees.

"British Columbia is known as a place that is inclusive, that is incredibly multicultural," she said.

"I was heartsick, because this is not who we are. It does not reflect our values. I think British Columbians need to stand up and condemn what happened, and I think that will be the strongest message we can send."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Police: Pregnant woman overdoses, charged with baby assault

    World News CTV News
    EAST BUTLER, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania woman who overdosed on heroin while pregnant and had to undergo a cesarean section is being charged with assault on her unborn child, authorities said. Kasey Dischman, 30, was roughly seven months pregnant when she injected herself with heroin she found under a couch early last Friday in her home in East Butler, about 64 kilometres north of Pittsburgh, a criminal complaint obtained by KDKA-TV shows. Source
  • Australian police charge Vatican cardinal with sex offences

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, Australia -- Australian police charged a top Vatican cardinal on Thursday with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offences, a stunning decision certain to rock the highest levels of the Holy See. Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' chief financial adviser and Australia's most senior Catholic, is the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church's long-running sexual abuse scandal. Source
  • RRRoll Up the Rim in the summer? Yes, it's happening now

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It’s time to double down on Canada 150 celebrations with a double-double. Tim Hortons has announced a special edition of RRRoll Up the Rim to Win that begins on June 28 and continues through July 21, 2017. Source
  • Uber customers to start paying federal sales taxes July 1

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A ride in an Uber taxi will be a little more expensive as of Canada Day with federal tax added to the app’s taxi fares. The 2017 federal budget requires that HST and GST — which amounts to 13 per cent for Ontarians — be charged on every ridesharing trip in Canada as of July 1. Source
  • Canada reveals its team for the upcoming Invictus Games

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The strength of Canada’s team at the upcoming Invictus Games in Toronto lies in the bond between the veterans and armed forces members who form the group, the team’s co-captain said Thursday as organizers marked the 100-day countdown to the international sporting competition. Source
  • Clark says if her government toppled, it shows B.C. legislature can't function

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- Premier Christy Clark says she doesn't think the British Columbia legislature can work if her Liberal government is defeated in a confidence vote on Thursday. If Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon asks for her opinion, Clark says she will tell her she hasn't seen any evidence the house can function with the NDP and Greens holding a one-vote advantage in the 87-seat legislature. Source
  • Police pilot accused of helicopter attack in Venezuelan capital

    World News CBC News
    Oscar Perez is a cop, pilot, action movie star and dog trainer. He's now also a fugitive, accused of strafing two key Venezuelan government buildings from a helicopter in a quixotic attempt to set off a revolt against President Nicolas Maduro. Source
  • Saretzky guilty on all charges

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    LETHBRIDGE — It took jurors three hours Wednesday to convict Derek Saretzky of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of a little girl, her dad and an unrelated senior. The six-man, six-woman Court of Queen’s Bench jury found Saretzky planned and deliberated the Sept. Source
  • Kittens rescued from abuse in Prince Albert, Sask., die

    Canada News CBC News
    Five kittens rescued from abuse and attempts to light them on fire last month in Prince Albert, Sask., have died. "It's a very sad ending," said Liana Maloney, manager of the Prince Albert Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Source
  • Bono, the Edge donating time for Canada Day concert, government says

    Canada News CBC News
    U2 members Bono and the Edge are donating their time as a "birthday present to Canada" and will not be paid a performance fee for appearing at Canada 150 celebrations on Parliament Hill July 1, a spokesperson from Canadian Heritage says. Source