Canada: Indian-Origin Truck Driver Who Caused Bus Crash That Killed 16 Hockey Players Ordered To Be Deported

An Indian-origin truck driver who caused a horrific bus crash in Canada that killed 16 members and injured 13 others of a junior hockey team in 2018 was on Friday ordered to be deported to India.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, a truck driver from Calgary, barreled 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. Sixteen people on the bus were killed and 13 were injured in the accident on April 6, 2018. The decision came on Friday at an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing in Calgary for Sidhu.

Sidhu’s lawyer Michael Greene has said the decision was a foregone conclusion, as all that’s required to deport Sidhu is proof that he’s not a Canadian citizen and he committed a serious crime, CBC news reported. Sidhu is from India and has permanent resident status in Canada.

“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.” He was granted parole after being sentenced to eight years for dangerous driving in the 2018 bus crash. Sidhu’s lawyer has 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.

“This is part of the sadness of the whole process. We’re left with a situation where permanent residents have no rights whatsoever to have their personal circumstances considered,” Greene said, before Friday’s hearing. “Our only mechanism is (that) after he’s ordered deported, we’re going to ask them to give back his (permanent resident) status (based) on humanitarian grounds.

“But in the meantime, he has no status.” Greene said Sidhu won’t immediately be taken into custody after the hearing is over, the report said. He said 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. Several family members of those killed in the crash have said they want Sidhu deported.

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  • (This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)

    first published: May 25, 2024, 08:48 IST

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