Humboldt Crash Driver Challenges Deportation in Landmark Legal Battle


The legal representative of the truck driver responsible for the fatal collision involving the Humboldt Broncos bus in 2018 argued before a federal judge that recommending his client’s deportation was an incorrect decision by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu was given an eight-year prison sentence in 2019 after acknowledging his guilty plea in charges linked to dangerous driving, a mistake which led to the deaths of 16 people and left 13 others with injuries. Following the Saskatchewan crash, he expressed remorse and has managed to maintain a clean record since the incident.

On account of good behavior, Sidhu was granted full parole and has been engaged in construction work in Calgary, while simultaneously trying to overturn the border agency’s recommendation regarding his deportation. The said recommendation sought Sidhu to be put in front of the Immigration and Refugee Board for them to ascertain whether he should be deported to India.

Federal Court Chief Justice Paul Crampton did not specify a date for his decision but assured a prompt resolution given the severity of the case.

In court, Michael Greene, the lawyer representing Sidhu, argued that his client did cause immense tragedy and suffering, but the border officials failed to consider Sidhu’s remorsefulness and his previously immaculate record.

Greene emphasized that the officials’ recommendation focused on the past offense and underplayed the future potential threats to public safety and security. He claims that their decision was motivated more by punishment and retribution rather than by reason and law.

There was mention of a psychological report by Dr. Patrick Baillie which stated that Sidhu has been battling post-traumatic stress disorder and depression as a consequence of the crash. He stressed that Sidhu’s mental health may worsen if he were to be deported to India.

If Sidhu wins the case, it would be referred back to the border agency for reconsideration.

The court learned that Sidhu was a novice truck driver and a recent immigrant when he neglected to stop at a rural intersection, and pathetically drove his truck into the path of the Broncos junior hockey team’s bus.

The judge empathized with the deep pain and said, “This case is one of the most tragic and heart-shattering cases,” while highlighting the need to uphold the rule of law.

Greene voiced concerns over the border agency’s report, criticizing the lack of positive details about Sidhu, including his remorse and the low probability of a repeated offense. He argued that the crash was an unfortunate accident resulting from Sidhu’s distraction due to the load he was transporting.

The federal Department of Justice’s lawyer contended that the report was well-written with detailed reasons justifying their decision. Brendan Friesen observed, “The officers performed their job commendably while dealing with the significant themes presented by the applicant.”.


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