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Calgary Liberal MP George Chahal is trying to thwart the deportation of Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the truck driver convicted of dangerous driving causing death in the horrific Humboldt Broncos bus crash in 2018.

The crash resulted in Sidhu being sentenced to eight years for causing the collision, which resulted in 16 fatalities and 13 injuries. He was granted full parole last year.

Chahal said, during an interview with CBC, that he had been following the story for years, like many Canadians. 

“As a father of three girls, it’s just unbearable to think of what the families went through with their losses. And I know many of them are still grieving and will continue to do so,” said Chahal. 

Sidhu is one of Chahal’s constituents, and they recently met in person. 

Chahal explained that if Sidhu is deported, he will be separated from his family. His young child has a heart and lung condition that requires neonatal care and attention.

“I’m hoping that Canadians can provide forgiveness to him, and we can give the opportunity for him to remain here with his family, to be able to support and provide for them,” said Chahal.

Sidhu became a permanent resident of Canada in 2014. Permanent residents convicted of a crime that carries a sentence of more than six months are ineligible to remain in the country.

Chahal explained that Sidhu is eligible to apply to stay in Canada on humanitarian, compassionate grounds to remain with his wife and child. 

“I’m hoping that the families and Canadians will give this individual an opportunity to remain with his family and forgive him for what he’s done, as he will be living with this pain for the rest of his life,” said Chahal.

The Liberal MP referenced an email he sent to his caucus colleagues to tell them he’d advocate for Sidhu to remain in Canada. 

“Jaskirat served his prison sentence. Ever since that fateful day, we have witnessed the actions of a man who, having made a grave error, has shown true remorse and full accountability for what he did. Although the law may demand deportation for a permanent resident in his position, we must ask ourselves: What will deportation accomplish? Will it make a single Canadian safer? Will it make Canada a better place to live? The answer is no, it will not,” wrote Chahal in his email to his colleagues. 

A federal judge initially upheld Sidhu’s deportation in Dec. 2023. A logbook review found that Sidhu violated 51 federal and 19 Saskatchewan regulations between Mar. 26 and Apr. 6, 2018, the day of the crash. 

Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., the employer of Jaspreet Singh Sidhu, was charged with multiple violations of federal and provincial trucking regulations, including failing to maintain proper logbooks. The company faced eight counts of non-compliance with various safety and logbook requirements.

A GoFundMe campaign to support the Humboldt Broncos and their families became the most successful campaign ever launched on the platform in Canada. It raised over $10 million in the week following the crash and surpassed $15 million by the time it concluded.

An Immigration and Refugee Board hearing for Sidhu announced that he would be deported to India on May 21. The board did not consider humanitarian or compassionate factors, just whether Sidhu was inadmissible for serious criminality. He was found to be inadmissible and was subsequently given a deportation order.

However, Sidhu may not be deported for months or years, as more legal and procedural steps are expected to follow.