OTTAWA, Jan. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today issued the following statement:
"I was appalled when I heard of last night's incident outside the Muslim Association of Canada Centre in Vancouver, in which an unknown assailant pepper sprayed a group of Syrian refugees. Paramedics treated more than two dozen men, women and children for exposure to the noxious substance.
"That the group was there to attend an event welcoming them to Canada only makes this attack even more infuriating and reprehensible.
"Canadians know that this incident is an affront to our values as a nation, and is at odds with the overwhelmingly positive welcome that Syrian refugees have received in communities across our country.
"I am sure that welcoming community spirit will endure, and will grow even stronger in the wake of this disturbing crime. I would also like to assure recently arrived Syrian refugees that those who gathered last night to support and welcome them embody the Canadian spirit. This attack in no way represents their new home.
"As Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, I wish all of the victims of last night's attack a quick recovery, and I look forward to our police and legal system bringing the perpetrator to justice."
Building a stronger Canada: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure the safety and security of Canadians, while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.
SOURCE Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
For further information: For further information (media only), please contact: Minister's Office, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 613-954-1064; Media Relations, Communications Branch, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 613-952-1650, CIC-Media-Relations@cic.gc.ca