Trudeau condemns pepper spray attack at Vancouver event for Syrian refugees

By Rafferty Baker & Karin Larsen
CBC News | January 9, 2016

A crowd of refugees attending a welcome event at the Muslim Association of Canada Centre in Vancouver was pepper sprayed by an unknown man on a bicycle.

It happened outside the centre on the Kingsway near Victoria Drive around 10:30 p.m. as the event was winding down and the group of newcomers to Canada was waiting for a bus.

This incident drew condemnation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson.

“This isn’t who we are,” Trudeau said in a tweet. Robertson, also on Twitter, described the incident as a “disgusting display of hate.”

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) sees the attack as potential hate crime.

“This is an act of cowardice condemned by all Canadians of conscience. We call on local authorities to investigate this assault as a potential hate crime so a clear message is sent that such abhorrent acts have no place in our communities,” said NCCM Board Chair Kashif A. Ahmed, a Vancouver-based lawyer….

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