The former truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash has been denied his first bid to stay in Canada.
A senior communications advisor for Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) of Canada confirms that Jaskirat Singh Sidhu will now undergo an admissibility hearing.
A lawyer for Sidhu sent paperwork to the Canada Border Services Agency in 2021 arguing that Sidhu should not be deported once his sentence has been served.
Under federal law, a permanent resident convicted of a crime that holds a maximum sentence of at least 10 years is deported, with few avenues for appeal.
In these cases, the CBSA can consider an exemption based on personal circumstances, or defer the case to the IRB for an admissibility hearing.
Anna Pape, spokesperson for IRB, confirmed Sidhu's case has been referred to the IRB and a hearing to determine his admissibility will be scheduled. There is no deportation order for Sidhu at this time.
In the vast majority of cases like this, the IRB orders deportation. The immigration minister can intervene, but that is rare. There is an opportunity to ask the federal court for a judicial review of any deportation order, but only on the grounds that due process was not followed — and that would only restart the admissibility process.
If Sidhu is deported, he could still apply to return to Canada under humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Sidhu was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm in the April 2018 crash that killed 16 people and injured 13. Court was told Sidhu, a newly married permanent resident, missed a stop sign at a rural Saskatchewan intersection and drove into the path of the Broncos bus carrying players and staff to a junior hockey league playoff game.
Scott Thomas, father of deceased Broncos player Evan Thomas, said he's "disappointed but not surprised."
He said most of the Broncos families wanted Sidhu to be deported, and it is the law. That said, Thomas is still hoping there's a way for Sidhu to remain in Canada.
"We need to find better ways to train truck drivers. We need to find better ways to educate truck drivers. We need to find better ways to regulate truck drivers and the industry," Thomas said.
"I hoped Mr. Sidhu could have been a part of that, telling his story. With him gone and sent home, that conversation will be harder. I think we will miss that opportunity."
Carol Brons, mother of trainer Dayna Brons who died in the crash, said she is not surprised by the decision, but doesn't have an opinion. She said she's tried not to think too much about it.
"Some feel strongly one way or the other, but I'm not really sure how I feel about that," Brons said.
"I haven't really put my energy into it. I've put it on the shelf."
She said her family's efforts have gone into programs to honour Dayna's legacy, such as a safe roads initiative and a project that has already provided seven scholarships in Dayna's name.
The Herold, Joseph, Leicht, Cross and Hunter families, all parents of deceased Humboldt Broncos players, released a statement Wednesday.
"The Government of Canada (CBSA) has spoken and we support their decision and justice is served regarding Mr Sidhu," the statement said.
A previous version of this story said that the next step will be for the Canada Border Services Agency to make its recommendation and send a report to a minister's delegate, who will determine whether Sidhu should be referred to the Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) for an admissibility hearing. In fact, Sidhu’s case has been referred to the IRB and a hearing to determine his admissibility will be scheduled.Mar 09, 2022 3:50 PM CT
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura is a reporter for CBC Saskatchewan. She is also the community reporter for CBC's virtual road trip series Land of Living Stories. Laura previously worked for CBC Vancouver. Some of her former work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, NYLON Magazine, VICE Canada and The Tyee. She holds a Master of Journalism degree from the University of British Columbia. Follow Laura on Twitter: @MeLaura. Send her news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org
With files from Jason Warick and Karen Pauls
Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca