‘Cautiously optimistic’: Lawyer for truck driver in Broncos crash awaits Federal Court Pipa News

‘Cautiously optimistic’: Lawyer for truck driver in Broncos crash awaits Federal Court

An attorney for the former truck driver who caused the deadly bus crash in the Humboldt Broncos says he’s cautiously optimistic he’ll have the chance to argue his client’s possible eviction in federal court.

In 2019, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving resulting in death and bodily harm in the Saskatchewan accident that killed 16 people and injured 13 others.

The Canada Border Services Agency recommended in March that Sidhu be turned over to the Immigration and Refugee Board to decide whether he should be deported to India.

Michael Greene, Sidhu’s lawyer, said if the federal court decides not to hear the case, the deportation process will continue.

He said all written arguments were submitted to the Federal Court in July, adding that no news can be good news pending the court’s decision.

“I’m cautiously optimistic, but I know enough not to get cocky about something like that,” Greene said. “Usually when it takes time, it means you have a moot case.”

It’s also a high-profile case, so a judge may want to be extra careful, he said.

Granted day parole

The court was told that the rookie Calgary trucker, a newlywed permanent resident, passed a stop sign at a rural intersection and drove into the path of the Humboldt Broncos bus transporting players and staff to a junior hockey league playoff game.

The Parole Board of Canada granted Sidhu one day parole for six months in July. He could then receive full parole if he complied with conditions, which included not contacting the victims’ families.

“Day parole means he’s home. He’s with his wife, and I can’t tell you how happy that makes them,” Greene said. “They’re trying to get back to a sense of normalcy.”

Greene said that even if he is allowed to appeal to the court and is successful, the case would be sent back to Canada Border Services Agency for reassessment. He said the original officer put all the weight of his decision on the severity of the damage caused.

“Don’t get your hopes up,” Greene said.

“Sometimes the judge will make comments in their decision that will provide some guidance to the (CBSA) officers.”

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu leaves with his lawyers Mark Brayford, right, and Glen Luther after the third day of sentencing hearings in Melfort, Sask. in 2019. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

An online fundraising page set up to raise money to keep Sidhu in Canada has raised more than $42,000.

A message from Sidhu’s wife, Tanvir Mann, a Canadian citizen, said her husband had made a “tragic mistake”.

“Confronted with the unimaginable magnitude of the consequences of his mistake, he did everything he could to make it better,” Mann writes.

“I pray that there are people who do not believe that Jaskirat should be deported and are willing to join my fight to live our lives in Canada.”

The Canada Border Services Agency has previously declined to comment on Sidhu’s case, but said multiple steps have been built into the process to ensure procedural fairness.

Greene said he understands that several of the victims’ families are still angry.

“It’s completely understandable. That’s it,” he said. “Everyone deals with grief and loss in their own way.”

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