Lawyer gets OK to argue against deportation of truck driver in Broncos crash
The Federal Court has agreed to allow the lawyer for a former truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash to argue against his possible deportation.
In 2019, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm in the Saskatchewan crash that killed 16 people and injured 13 others.
Court was told that the rookie Calgary trucker, a newly married permanent resident, went through a stop sign at a rural intersection and drove into the path of the Humboldt Broncos bus carrying players and staff to a junior hockey league playoff game in April 2018.
The Canada Border Services Agency recommended last year that Sidhu be handed over to the Immigration and Refugee Board to decide whether he should be deported to India.
Michael Greene, Sidhu’s lawyer, said the Federal Court has decided to hear the case in July. He said it is good news for his client, who is now working in the construction industry after being released on parole from prison.
“They’re happy to finally hear some good news because good news has been in short supply for them,” Greene said about Sidhu and his family.
“There are lot of compelling facts and it’s a difficult issue because you’ve got on the one hand the level of pain and suffering caused and, on the other, you’ve got someone who’s got a lot going for him and he’s definitely not your normal criminal. To call him a criminal is a stretch.”
The hearing is to be heard in Calgary and Greene said it’s unlikely the court will offer an immediate ruling.
If he is successful, the matter would be sent back to Canada Border Services Agency for another review. He had indicated previously the original officer put all the weight of his decision on the gravity of the harm caused.
“It doesn’t mean he gets to stay in Canada. He gets another crack at it. This still brings up the systemic problem the way the system is designed,” Greene said Thursday.
“You’ve basically got enforcement officers making the decision and their job is to enforce, and trying to persuade them to allow him to remain in Canada almost goes against their grain.”
The Canada Border Services Agency has previously declined to comment on Sidhu’s case, but said there are multiple steps built into the process to ensure procedural fairness.
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