Diaspora

Indo-Canadian truck driver behind crash that killed 16 to be deported

Wednesday, 29 May, 2024
The decision came at an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing. (Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

Toronto: Canada has ordered the deportation of an Indian-origin truck driver who caused a horrific bus crash in Canada killing 16 members and injuring 13 others of a junior hockey team in 2018.

The decision came at an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing for Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, a truck driver in Calgary, who is from India and has permanent resident status in Canada. Sidhu barrelled through a stop sign and into the path of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team’s bus at a rural intersection near Tisdale in Saskatchewan province on April 6, 2018.

Sidhu's lawyer Michael Greene said the decision was a foregone conclusion, as all that's required to deport Sidhu is proof that he is not a Canadian citizen and he committed a serious crime, CBC News reported. “It’s pretty open and shut,” Greene was quoted as saying by the Canadian Press news agency. “There’s nothing to contest, so those are as clear as day. These hearings are usually done lickety-split.”

Sidhu was granted parole after being sentenced to eight years for dangerous driving in the 2018 bus crash. His lawyer said there are still numerous other legal procedures to come, and the deportation process could take months or years. In December, the Federal Court dismissed applications from Sidhu's lawyer, who had argued border officials did not consider Sidhu's previously clean criminal record and remorse. He wanted the court to order the border agency to conduct a second review.

Greene said Sidhu won't immediately be taken into custody after the hearing is over, the report said. He said that a pre-removal risk assessment has to be conducted and Sidhu can also ask for a deferral while his request for permanent resident status is considered. The process, Greene said, could take months or years.

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