An immigration lawyer says the truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan is likely to be deported to India right after he serves his sentence.
Lorne Waldman, who is based in Toronto and is not involved in the case, says there’s little 30-year-old Jaskirat Singh Sidhu can do to remain in Canada.
Waldman says permanent residents such as Sidhu cannot remain in the country if they commit a crime for which the maximum sentence is at least 10 years or their jail sentence is more than six months.
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And he says that with a term of more than six months, there’s no right to appeal a deportation order.
Sidhu is to be sentenced today in Melfort, Sask., for dangerous driving after pleading guilty in January.
His transport truck barrelled through a stop sign and into the path of the junior hockey team’s bus last April — 16 people would die and 13 were injured.
He admitted to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm —which under the law at the time carry maximum terms of 14 years and 10 years.
The Crown has asked that Sidhu serve 10 years in prison and the defence has argued that past cases suggest a range of 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years.
Sidhu’s sentencing hearing heard that his girlfriend immigrated to Toronto in 2013 and he followed her shortly after. The pair were students and moved to Calgary.
In January 2018, the couple travelled back to India and were married Feb. 15. They returned to Canada in March. Three weeks before the crash, he was hired by a small Calgary trucking company.
Waldman said Sidhu would have the right to make a submission to immigration authorities explaining his situation before deportation proceedings were to begin — but it would be a long shot.
“The facts of this case are extremely sympathetic if it were not for the horrible consequences of what happened. It was a one-time lapse — no drinking, no other criminal offences,” he said.
“But it was such a serious offence, and the consequences were so great, that I would think it would be hard for him to be successful in convincing someone not to proceed with a deportation process against him.”
Waldman said immigration authorities usually visit offenders in jail, where they’re informed they are inadmissible to stay in Canada, that a report has been written and that they have three weeks to send submissions.
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“Immigration authorities will not wait. They’ll probably start the deportation process relatively quickly,” Waldman said.
But a deportation order isn’t acted upon until an offender is released.
Such offenders are banned from ever returning to Canada unless they can persuade authorities when reapplying that theirs is a special humanitarian case.
Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press