VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Call from across the country are condemning an alleged attack on Syrian refugees last night in Vancouver.
Police say they are looking for a suspect after more than a dozen Syrian refugees were pepper sprayed.
The attack happened outside the Muslim Association of Canada Centre during a “welcome night” event for newly arrived Syrian refugees.
City police say a crowd of men, women and children had gathered outside the centre when a man wearing a white hoodie apparently rode by on a bicycle and sprayed 15 to 30 people.
Witnesses said several of those who were hit started coughing and complaining of burning eyes.
Police say a number of people were treated on scene, but there was no word of any serious injuries.
Trudeau wrote on Twitter that “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
Last night’s pepper spray incident was a disgusting display of hate – and Vancouver won’t stand for it. #VanWelcomesRefugees and always will
— Gregor Robertson (@MayorGregor) January 9, 2016
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Police Department’s Major Crime Section continues to investigate. Police are searching for the man on the bicycle, who is believed to have been wearing a white hooded sweatshirt. Investigators are treating this as a hate-motivated crime until deemed otherwise.