Pepper spray discharged among crowd at Canada Day celebrations

Several people impacted following fireworks display in Abbotsford

Several people were affected after pepper spray was released on Canada Day at the conclusion of the fireworks celebration at Rotary Stadium in Abbotsford.

Several people were affected after pepper spray was released on Canada Day at the conclusion of the fireworks celebration at Rotary Stadium in Abbotsford.

Canada Day celebrations in Abbotsford came to a unpleasant end for several people as they were leaving Rotary Stadium after the fireworks display had concluded.

Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said, just after 11 p.m. on Friday, someone emitted pepper spray or bear spray in the northeast area of the park as the crowd was dispersing.

It’s not known exactly how many people suffered the effects of the spray, which can include stinging eyes, difficulty breathing and coughing.

MacDonald said several children were among those impacted. He said some people chose to be treated by paramedics who had been stationed at the site for Canada Day, while others went home.

He said, given the size of the crowd, it was “difficult, if not impossible” for investigators to determine who was responsible for the incident.

MacDonald said this is not the first time that pepper spray has been discharged during Canada Day festivities. He estimated the last time was two years ago.

MacDonald said investigators believe that the release of the spray was intentional.

Thousands of people attended Canada Day activities in Abbotsford, including a family festival at Rotary Stadium that ran through the afternoon and evening and concluded with the fireworks display.