I just stole a pack of gum, is it really a crime?
Yes. If you take property belonging to another person it is a crime.
Theft under $5000
The Canadian Criminal Code treats theft under $5,000.00 differently than theft over $5,000.00. Theft over $5,000 is much more serious and will result in a more severe sentence if you are found guilty.
If you are charged with a crime it can be treated in two ways:
Summary Offence: As a youth you can be fined up to $1000 or imprisoned for up to 6 months, or both. Usually, you will not get the maximum sentence especially if you are a first time offender.
Indictable Offence: This is the most serious way of dealing with a crime. You could be fined and or imprisoned for up to 2 years. Usually the Crown prosecutor will not use this kind of charge for a first offence.
The Crown prosecutor will take other factors into account when deciding how to proceed, like whether or not you have a youth record.