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Trucker who caused Broncos crash likely to be deported after sentence: lawyer

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  • An immigration lawyer says the truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan is likely to be deported to India right after he serves his sentence.

    Lorne Waldman, who is based in Toronto and is not involved in the case, says there’s little 30-year-old Jaskirat Singh Sidhu can do to remain in Canada.

    Waldman says permanent residents such as Sidhu cannot remain in the country if they commit a crime for which the maximum sentence is at least 10 years or their jail sentence is more than six months.

    And he says that with a term of more than six months, there’s no right to appeal a deportation order.

    Sidhu is to be sentenced today in Melfort, Sask., for dangerous driving after pleading guilty in January.

    His transport truck barrelled through a stop sign and into the path of the junior hockey team’s bus last April — 16 people would die and 13 were injured.

    He admitted to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm —which under the law at the time carry maximum terms of 14 years and 10 years.

    The Crown has asked that Sidhu serve 10 years in prison and the defence has argued that past cases suggest a range of 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years.

    Sidhu’s sentencing hearing heard that his girlfriend immigrated to Toronto in 2013 and he followed her shortly after. The pair were students and moved to Calgary.

    In January 2018, the couple travelled back to India and were married Feb. 15. They returned to Canada in March. Three weeks before the crash, he was hired by a small Calgary trucking company.

    Waldman said Sidhu would have the right to make a submission to immigration authorities explaining his situation before deportation proceedings were to begin — but it would be a long shot.

    “The facts of this case are extremely sympathetic if it were not for the horrible consequences of what happened. It was a one-time lapse — no drinking, no other criminal offences,” he said.

    “But it was such a serious offence, and the consequences were so great, that I would think it would be hard for him to be successful in convincing someone not to proceed with a deportation process against him.”

    Waldman said immigration authorities usually visit offenders in jail, where they’re informed they are inadmissible to stay in Canada, that a report has been written and that they have three weeks to send submissions.

    “Immigration authorities will not wait. They’ll probably start the deportation process relatively quickly,” Waldman said.

    But a deportation order isn’t acted upon until an offender is released.

    Such offenders are banned from ever returning to Canada unless they can persuade authorities when reapplying that theirs is a special humanitarian case.

    Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press


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    Person airlifted to hospital after avalanche in Yoho National Park has died

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  • LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Parks Canada says a person who was airlifted to hospital in Calgary following an avalanche in Yoho National Park has died.

    The agency says a male who was among a party of three was involved in an avalanche Saturday afternoon on Des Poilus Glacier, which is on the Wapta Icefield, approximately 180 kilometres northwest of Calgary.

    STARS Air Ambulance said the person was in critical condition at the time, and Parks Canada says in an update that he did not survive.

    The other two people in the party were not injured.

    Parks Canada says the slide was not connected to an avalanche that happened Tuesday on Howse Peak in Banff National Park that is believed to have claimed the lives of three professional climbers.

    Efforts to find those men — American Jess Roskelley and Austrians David Lama and Hansjorg Auer — have been hampered by poor weather and dangerous conditions.

    Parks Canada says the avalanche danger rating for Saturday was variable, noting that spring avalanche conditions can range from high to low and are dependent on weather and location, among other factors.

     

    The Canadian Press


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    New Brunswick premier urges caution as floodwaters continue to rise

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  • FREDERICTON — Rising floodwaters have forced the closure of at least 25 roads in western New Brunswick, where the premier is urging residents to do what they can to protect their families and property.

    Premier Blaine Higgs issued a brief statement saying New Brunswickers are facing severe flooding in several communities.

    The province’s Public Safety Department says the Saint John River Basin is now beyond or nearly at flood stage in Clair, Saint-Hilaire and Edmundston in the north, and in Fredericton, Maugerville, Jemseg and Sheffield-Lakeville Corner in the south.

    The department says residents in other communities along the river should remain on high alert in the coming days as water levels are still rising.

    Heavy rain and a rapid snowmelt are being blamed for the flooding, which isn’t unusual at this time of year.

    About 120 soldiers from Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in southern New Brunswick were expected to help residents fill sandbags and, if necessary, evacuate their homes.

    “Residents should know that they aren’t alone in these difficult times,” Higgs said in a statement. “Impacted residents should not hesitate to seek assistance and to take steps, where safely possible, to protect their family and property.”

    The Canadian Press


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