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Lawyer for trucker in Broncos crash wants chance to oppose ‘permanent exile’ with deportation

The lawyer for the former truck driver who caused the fatal Humboldt Broncos bus crash hopes he will have the opportunity to argue his client’s possible deportation in the Federal Court of Canada.

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

Sidhu’s attorney, Michael Greene, has already filed a lawsuit in Federal Court and expects written submissions from the Justice Department by the end of the month.

He said he would then have the opportunity to respond by July 22, when the matter will be returned to a Federal Court judge.

“A judge will decide if we have enough cases to grant leave. If the judge grants leave, we argue the case in open court,” Greene said in an interview.

“From what I’ve seen in the past, it usually takes a few months before you hear what’s going to happen next.”

In March 2019, Sidhu was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm in the April 6, 2018 crash that killed 16 people and injured 13.

Court heard Calgary rookie trucker, a newly married permanent resident, drove through a stop sign at a rural Saskatchewan intersection and got in the way of the Humboldt Broncos bus carrying the players and staff to a junior hockey league playoff game.

Greene said he believed the system was faulty. He said a CBSA officer reviewed the evidence and made a recommendation for Sidhu’s deportation, which was approved by a superior.

“I think the bottom line is that both officers were obsessed with victims, which isn’t hard to do, and it was like basically saying that the seriousness of the offense, judging by its consequences , outweighs all other factors,” Greene said.

“This drill is not about inflicting punishment and that’s what they do. They inflict punishment for other punishments,” Greene said.

“He has already received the heaviest sentence ever for this kind of offence. Now they want to double down with permanent exile.”

Greene said if there was a chance Sidhu would re-offend and put the public at risk, the decision would make sense. But he says that is not the case.

The Canada Border Services Agency declined to comment on Sidhu’s case.

The CBSA is an enforcement agency that does not deliver justice. It’s about applying the Immigration Act. It’s about kicking people out.– Michael Greene, attorney for Jaskirat Singh Sidhu

But a spokeswoman said in a statement that the process involves several steps to ensure procedural fairness and that the agency will only act on a removal order once all legal avenues have been exhausted.

“All persons subject to enforcement and ordered deported from Canada have access to due process before the law, and all deportation orders may be challenged by various levels of appeal .”

Greene said he was cautiously optimistic he could argue the case in open court, but he said the way the system is set up, everything could end up at square one.

“I’m pretty optimistic we’ll get permission and we might just win in Federal Court. The problem is that a victory in Federal Court sends the case back to CBSA and you just get a different agent,” a- he declared.

“I think the fundamental problem with the system is that CBSA is a law enforcement agency that doesn’t do justice. It’s about enforcing the Immigration Act. It’s about expel people.”

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