Richmond's St. Gregory Armenian Church has sponsored more than 50 Armenian Syrian refugees to come to B.C. and most have arrived in the Lower Mainland over the past month.
On Sunday, many of those families gathered to celebrate Armenian Christmas, and were visited by politicians including Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.
He thanked them for supporting and sponsoring refugees, but also spoke about a group of 100 people — including Syrian refugees — standing outside the Muslim Association of Canada Centre in Vancouver who were pepper sprayed, Jan. 8 by an unknown man on a bicycle.
"I'm confident that this one little incident that has happened, as horrible as it is, is going to light a fire amongst other Canadian to say, you know what? We can't allow this to happen," he said.
"As the prime minister has stated this is not the Canadian way," he added while gesturing to the congregation that their efforts to sponsor refugees, is the Canadian way.