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Federal judge upholds ruling that trucker in Humboldt Broncos bus crash could be deported


A federal judge has dismissed a bid to avoid deportation by the semi-truck driver responsible for the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy in 2018.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu was handed an eight-year sentence in 2019 after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm in the Saskatchewan crash that killed 16 people and injured 13 others. He was new to truck driving and had been on the job less than a month before the tragedy.

In a federal court ruling released on Thursday, a judge denied Sidhu's request to set aside a March 2022 Canada Border Services Agency decision calling for his deportation.

Sidhu is a permanent resident, and under federal law, can be subject to deportation in the instance of a serious criminal offence. He was granted parole earlier this year.

Toby Boulet, who lost his son Logan in the crash, says at this point he wants to see Sidhu deported.

"We don't want him to sit in jail for 75 years. I don't think that's fair. Our son passed, 15 others passed 13 lives have been destroyed for the rest of their life. Their loved ones, their friends, the billets ... they're all just destroyed," Boulet said.

"We just want him to go away. We think that will make our lives better as we move forward."

Another Broncos parent, Scott Thomas, who lost his son Evan, has supported Sidhu's attempts to remain in Canada.

"I know, Mr. Sidhu is in a prison in his own mind for the rest of his life no matter where he is. So, you know, I thought justice was was served before this ruling came down and unfortunately for Mr. Sidhu, he's going to have to be deported," Thomas told CTV News.

"You know, one of the things that we did initially, and we still do, we forgive Mr. Sidhu. It wasn't so much to set Mr. Sidhu free, but it was to set our family free. While I feel sad for Mr. Sidhu that he has to leave, for our family, we're just going to continue going forward."

Sidhu's lawyer Michael Greene said Sidhu and his wife were disappointed by the judge's ruling. 

"They were hoping for a better outcome. It was not to be," Greene said.

Sidhu will still be subject to an Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) hearing, where a final decision will be made concerning his deportation.

"Hopefully we'll get a more sympathetic ear in that hearing, which is before different agency," Greene said.

In his decision, Chief Justice Paul Crampton noted that Sidhu also still has the option of applying for permanent residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. 

According to Greene, Sidhu "absolutely" intends to apply.

--With files from Stacey Hein, Bill Fortier and The Canadian Press Top Stories

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