Of course, the focus is on the weapon, which turns out to be legal under Canada's weapons laws, which are a form of what Sam Francis used to call "Anarcho-Tyranny."
The Toronto Star seems surprised to find that crossbows aren't illegal for Canadians to own, although pistol-sized crossbows are. [Small crossbows banned but large ones legal in Canada] They also have an article showing that almost no one has been murdered with a crossbow in Canada: Crossbow incidents in Canada - thestar.com. In spite of this, expect calls for crossbow regulation.
A list of people murdered by Chinese immigrants to Canada would be much longer, and that's in spite of the relatively law-abiding—or at least non-violent—nature of Chinese immigrants. But no one is going to make a list of "Chinese incidents" and publish it in the newspaper. That would probably be illegal under Canadian hate speech law.
Anarcho-tyranny is the system whereby the shopkeeper is denied a permit for a pistol, and the robber is given probation.
Canada has strong, and frequently lethal gun laws, which result in unarmed store owners being robbed, unarmed householders being victims of home invasion, and unarmed women being raped. (Similar laws exist in New York—see Nicholas Stix, below.)Said gun laws do not, of course, prevent Jamaican gangsters from having guns, and shooting people with them .
Canada's ban on small crossbows is part of their "prohibited weapon" category which also prohibits other means of self-defense—things like switchblades, brass knuckles, nunchakus, and the morning star.
Nunchakus are the two connected sticks that you may recall Bruce Lee using, the morning star is a medieval weapon consisting of a spiked ball connected by a chain to a stick. While two or three people may have been murdered with crossbows in Canada, and both Chinese and white juveniles have whacked each other with nunchucks, it's possible that no one, since the dawn of time, has ever been the victim of a morning star crime in Canada. That's because they were becoming obsolete at time of Christopher Columbus. However, a Canadian doctor and collector of antique armor did have spend a lot of time convincing Canadian customs not to destroy a collector's item.
As for anarcho- part of anarcho-tyranny, there's no chance that the accused, if found guilty will hang, and very little chance of him being actually sent to prison for life. Canada gave up hanging people years ago.
Life sentences in Canada are called "life-7", "life-15," and "life-25", the number being the number of years you will actually stay in jail, assuming you keep your nose clean, and you aren't an internationally famous multiple murderer.
If the accused is found guilty, he'll be released in, I'd guess, 2025. I don't know how much things will have changed by then, but you probably won't be able to buy crossbows in Canadian stores, so if he wants to kill again, he'll have to shell out for an illegal gun.
Update, April 12, 2017: In 2012, Zhou Fang was sentenced to "life" on second-degree murder. The judge set parole eligibility at 10 years, counting from December 2010. So Zhou Fang may be out in 2020, which knocks 5 years off my estimate.
In answer to a question you may remember me asking at the top of the page, both men were Chinese immigrants to Canada.