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What happened to the happy in holidays?

Janet Pole | Interrobang | Opinion | January 9th, 2006



Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
Jane Creba of Toronto had a great holiday with her family, and then headed downtown to do some shopping. But instead of bags of Boxing Day sale items to take home to show Mom and Dad, this beautiful and lively fifteen year-old girl was shot and killed in the middle of a gang-related shoot-out on Yonge Street and became Toronto's 52nd gun-related homicide of the year.

Jane was out shopping with her eighteen-year-old sister Alison and decided to cross Yonge Street to the Foot Locker sporting goods store. She casually and unknowingly walked smack into the crossfire of the gun battle, and took one bullet to the upper torso. Jane, mortally wounded, immediately fell to the ground, and was swiftly taken away to hospital by ambulance. In the uproar and chaos that saw that area of Yonge Street flooded with police and stores locked down as yellow tape went up, her sister didn't know what had happened.

After an increasingly frantic search, Alison and her parents learned what had happened and were taken away by squad car to the hospital.

Jane Creba was bright, athletic and a top student who lived in the east end of Toronto and she was in the wrong place at the very wrong time. She died as a result of making that fatal decision to jay-walk from Sam the Record Man to Foot Locker: but how could she ever know that she would be caught in a volley of gunfire that would tragically take her life at such a tender age? In total, seven people were shot, including a man who was in critical condition, a student from Hong Kong who was treated in hospital and released and an off-duty police officer who sustained minor injuries.

As quoted by the CBC, “Creba was ‘the funniest, prettiest and all around nicest person'.” Friends and classmates writing on the Internet remembered Creba as a warm person who was full of enthusiasm. “I can't think of a single person who didn't like her and everyone loved laughing and joking with her. She had the nicest fun-loving attitude towards everything and I know that everyone will miss her,” a classmate wrote on an Internet blog.

One of her killers, Andre Thompson, 20, who was on probation at the time of the alleged offences, faces several gun charges, as does a 17-year-old male who cannot be identified. Our gun control laws seem to not be working if these two young murders will be alive — there is no death penalty in Canada — while a girl with a shining bright future ahead of her now lies six feet under the ground. It seems that the Young Offenders Act (hiding and protecting the name of the 17-year old) and Mr. Thompson “being known by the police” did diddlysquat. Maybe they should be forced to walk into a random shooting of bullets from illegal weapons and see if they survive.

It is time for Canada to treat crime for what it is; a heinous act. Despite how sick I am of seeing those ads on TV for the federal election on January 23rd, I know that whoever wins has a lot of influence over gun control and how criminals are treated in this country. So I hope that everyone takes this opportunity to vote! There is no excuse not to. Get off your butt and do it — do it for Jane Creba and honour her memory and the tragic incident that put her name in the news.

Janet Pole wishes to send her condolences not only to the Crebas but also to any parent who has lost a child to violence, human error or accident. She can be reached at djembejanet@hotmail.com.
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