Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says it’s heartening to see Canadians rally around Syrian refugees after a group of newly arrived migrants was pepper sprayed in Vancouver.
Police said a crowd was gathered outside a Muslim Association of Canada centre for a refugee welcome event when a man on a bicycle rode by and sprayed about 15 people Friday night.
Police are investigating the attack as a hate crime.
Sajjan calls the attack an isolated incident, and says the Syrian refugees he met with the following day were resilient and still happy to be in Canada.
Immigration Minister John McCallum says Canada is very welcoming to refugees, and this incident won’t tarnish the country’s migrant-friendly reputation.
He says the federal government utterly condemns the pepper spraying and insists Syrian refugees have no reason to feel unsafe in Canada.
British Columbia’s Jobs Minister Shirley Bond says she was heartsick when she heard about the incident and emphasizes that B-C is an inclusive, multicultural province.
The only thing unwelcome in Saskatchewan on Friday for the arrival of 100 Syrian refugees – was the weather.
Majida El-Jashmani and her family arrived in Regina to a throng of delegates and well-wishers.
The Regina Chamber of Commerce and the City of Regina handed out mitts and blankets to the newcomers.