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Truck driver who killed 16 in Humboldt Broncos crash loses bid to stay in Canada


The semi driver who killed 16 people in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash has lost his bid to stay in Canada when he is finished serving his sentence.

According to Michael Greene, the immigration lawyer representing him, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu's submission to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has been rejected.

The Calgary-based lawyer told CTV News no reason was given by CBSA and Sidhu plans to challenge the decision in federal court.

"You can imagine he and his wife Tanvir — they're devastated. It was really disappointing," Greene said during an interview Wednesday afternoon.

Greene said he believed Sidhu had a strong case based on "tremendous" public support and other factors, such as a person's sense of remorse and their likelihood of reoffending.

"In this case, I've never seen anybody, met anybody who is so remorseful," Greene said.

In April 2018, Sidhu drove through a stop sign near Tisdale, Sask. and collided with the Humboldt Broncos team bus, killing 16 and injuring 13 others.

Sidhu, who holds permanent resident status, was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm.

He had been awaiting a decision from CBSA on whether or not he will be deported when his sentence is over.

Former NHL player Chris Joseph lost his son Jaxon in the crash. He supports the CBSA ruling.

"I already cried a couple times today. I feel like it's finally a little bit of justice," Joseph said during a Zoom interview Wednesday afternoon. 

"I think at the end of the day, we just want to make sure that we all have the ability to drive the road safely and there are consequences for you know, when you not only just run a stop sign, but blow past the four other warning signs, have 70 violations in 10 days," Joseph said.

"Jaxon is never coming back, there's 15 other people that are never coming back. There's 13 other people living with lifelong injuries. There's families living with lifelong trauma."

Joseph said he doesn’t wish Sidhu any ill will but he believes the decision will help give himself and others closure.

"If Mr. Sidhu has to go back to his home country, and start a family there, is that really a punishment? I see it as a bit of a blessing in some ways — he's not under the scrutiny."

Scott Thomas, who lost his son Evan in the crash, had submitted a letter in support of Sidhu's bid to avoid removal from Canada

"I think the deportation of Mr. Sidhu just goes to increase the suffering to him and his family, and other people that were involved,” Thomas told CTV News last year.

“He did everything he could to minimize the impact to the families through all this, and then in the end he took a sentence and he’s serving it like a man.”

Under Canada's immigration legislation, a permanent resident can face removal from Canada in instances of serious criminality.

If Sidhu's planned appeal is unsuccessful, he will be required to return to India when his sentence is complete.

CBSA declined to comment on the case and pointed CTV News to the immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).

In an emailed statement, the IRB confirmed Sidhu had been referred to its immigration division for a hearing related to his criminal convictions.

A date for the hearing has yet to be scheduled, the IRB said.

--With files from Nicole Di Donato Top Stories

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