Canadian Progressives Outraged After Indian Truck Driver Whose Negligence Led To 16 Deaths In Saskatchewan Is Ordered To Be Deported

Amy Hamm

Canadian progressives are expressing outrage at the decision to deport Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the Indian truck driver whose gross negligence led to the horrific 2018 bus crash in Armley, Saskatchewan that claimed 16 lives.

For his role in what is colloquially known as the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, Sidhu was sentenced to eight years in prison for a dangerous driving offense — namely speeding through a clearly-marked stop sign — but was released on parole in 2023 after serving only 6.

His victims were primarily members of a beloved hockey team from the small community of Humboldt, along with the team’s two coaches, their athletic therapist, and the driver who had been operating the bus. The youngest victim was 16 and the oldest was 59.

Sidhu had moved to Canada just four years before the crash, and had been granted permanent residency only one month prior to the deadly accident. But Canada’s laws stipulate that permanent residents must leave the country if they are sentenced to more than six months for a criminal conviction.

At the time of the tragic accident, Sidhu had barely one year of experience driving trucks, and had only received two weeks of training on how to operate the vehicle he had been using that day. It was later determined that he had been going over 60mp/h when he sped past the clearly-marked stop sign, almost 40mp/h faster than he should have been going.

Sidhu sped through the intersection of Saskatchewan Highway 35 and Saskatchewan Highway 335, ignoring a 4-foot-wide stop sign with a red flashing light on top and highway signs that had warned of the need to stop. The signs had been staggered 400 meters, 300 meters, 200 meters, and 100 meters before the intersection.

A report on the crash revealed that the driver who had been operating the Humboldt hockey team bus had recognized the danger and applied the brakes. The coach skidded for 24 meters before the collision.

The report also determined that there had been nothing obstructing Sidhu’s vision of the signage, though he had initially attempted to blame a tree for covering the stop sign.

Sidhu had been employed by Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd, an Indian-owned trucking company based in Alberta that was quickly found to have violated provincial and federal safety law repeatedly.

Sukhmander Singh, the head of the company, was also charged with eight counts of failing to comply with various safety and log-keeping regulations. Singh was found guilty in 2019 but was only fined $5,000 for the violations.

Canadian Border Services Agency recommended that Sidhu be deported more than two years ago, but Sidhu retained immigration lawyer Michael Greene to fight this decision. Sidhu received the deportation news from a federal immigration official on May 24.

Despite the order, Sidhu could remain in Canada for years to come as he is legally entitled to ask that his deportation risk assessment be deferred while he goes through additional legal processes to attempt to remain in Canada. His lawyer has told media that he will ask the Canadian government to reinstate Sidhu’s permanent resident status on humanitarian grounds.

While many of the deceased victims’ family members have expressed relief at Sidhu’s deportation orders, some Canadian progressives have instead expressed outrage and chalked up the decision to racism.

On X (formerly Twitter), Rick Johnston of Calgary said the deportation was wrong, and labeled it a byproduct of white supremacy.

“Systemic racism is what this is. If the driver was from Ukraine rather than India no one would have called for his deportation to begin with. He isn’t a cold-blooded killer. He made a terrible mistake and owned it. He should be allowed to stay in Canada.”

Canadian publisher Jesse Brown was similarly disappointed, writing: “This is a deeply shameful decision for Canada.”

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