Monthly Archives: March 2019

Only Child horrified at Humboldt truck driver’s light sentence

 

What’s wrong with this picture below?

The  truck driver, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, who killed 16 members and associates of the  Humboldt Bronco hockey team and injured 13 more in Saskatchewan last April has been sentenced to eight years in prison for each count of dangerous driving causing death. He also received a five-year sentence for 13 counts of dangerous driving, to be spent concurrently.

The judge wanted to send a message and even though this is the highest sentence ever given for dangerous driving causing death in Canada, the sentence could be 14 years at its upper limits. Even though 14 years isn’t really enough for what Sidhu did, the message would have been clearer with the 14 years. And none of this serving the two sentences  concurrently. Adding the two sentences that were actually given together, that would then be 13 years.

It is possible that Sidhu, who is a  resident of Canada, not a Canadian citizen,  could be deported back to India after serving his sentence.

However, deportation or not, I am still incensed and troubled by the judge’s sentence. The message I’m getting is that Canada’s justice system  (such as it is – and I have said before that many of its sentences are too lenient for heinous crimes) seldom applies the full amount of years allowed in sentencing. Or rather the courts, i.e., the judges don’t. I am not sure how that sends a message to other drivers.

And yes, I know 100 years wouldn’t bring back those he killed. I get that. But there is something really wrong with all of this and some questions still sit uncomfortably in my mind.

And yes, I also know Sidhu pleaded guilty and showed remorse.He also offered his sympathy to the victims’ families.

“I don’t know why this happened,” Sidhu said. “They don’t sit alone. I have kids, too.”

And he wasn’t drinking when driving. No distracted driving issues seem to have come up in the investigation.

But…

The forensic report said that Singh did not brake for the stop signs. These signs were increased in size after previous accidents at the same location. The report also stated that no environmental issues (like trees) blocked his view.

It was clear outside and there were no weather issues.

I also have issues with the company he was driving for.

Sidhu had been driving for this Calgary, Alberta company for only a month.

The company, Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd, is small and appears to have only one other truck and one other “staff” – the owner, Sukhmander Singh.

The company had only been in business since the fall before the crash.

Although before the Humboldt crash, the company had no serious charges or infractions, they did have one minor infraction found in a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance inspection defect from the Northwest Territories. The company violated the federal hours of service regulation.

The owner took the company’s other truck off the road right after the accident. The company also had its license suspended until the investigations were complete.

All this raises questions.

What kind of training did Sidhu have to drive a big tractor trailer?

Because he was driving a company truck, shouldn’t the company bear some responsibility for the crash? I couldn’t find any report of the truck not being fit for driving, but isn’t it usual when an employee commits a criminal act, the employer shares in the blame and the sentence? Or am I just being naive here? And I’m not saying it should be spread 50-50 because after all it was Sudhu, not the company or owner, who was driving the truck when he crashed into the bus.

Someone once said the law is an ass. I’m not sure what the context was then. But certainly not sentencing to the fullest when necessary does make the law (or some of its courts) look like the proverbial donkey.

Anyway, I suggest you read some of the stories about this horrific crash and its aftermath and decide for yourself. Reading the court records would be helpful.  Meantime, here are a few of the stories from newspapers, etc. published online and/or in print, some of which I perused for my information. However, opinions in this post are mine. You can Google for more stories.

Truck driver in Humboldt crash worked with Calgary company for ‘about a month’, by Ryan Rumbolt, Calgary Herald Local news, updated April 11, 2018

Jaskirat Sidhu: What we know about the driver charged in the Humboldt Broncos crash, by

Driver in Humbold crash gets 8 years, by Claire Theobald (Toronto) Star Edmonton, March 23, 2019 (print copy)

No wonder I write mystery fiction (Beyond series) where the criminals get their just desserts. And it is not always jail time.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Dangerous Driving and Canadian Law and Sentences, Highway Collisions, Humboldt Crash

Only Child says Spring is springing

Only Child’s spring garden 2018

Today, spring officially arrives. Exact time depends on where you live in the northern hemisphere. Here, in Toronto it is today at 5.58 p.m. and I plan to celebrate – not with a drink, but with buying a plant, a pansy, providing the garden centres (read Home Depot here) have some in. I want to put the plant front and centre on the small red table on my front veranda. Pansies can survive temperatures down to 26 F and it it gets too cold temporarily, I can bring the plant inside for a bit.

Back when I was a child (in the grey ages of course, i.e., mid-1950s), my mom and dad were already out in the garden digging and doing other prep work to plant vegetables – well in early April, not March. But April is coming soon. I was not far behind, waiting to get into the garden and learning what to do from my mom. Guess that’s where I got my gardening bug.

But I am doing some gardening preparations. Finally got my seed order into the seed company – as usual in mid-March. But all those problems (which still keep coming) stole and steal my time from what I want to do and need to do. Often those coincide but when the latter means fixing big problems, I resent that.

So, I hope the sun, spring and warmer weather will kill all the problems and maybe “burn” the perpetrators a little. And “burn” can be taken in other ways than fire. I don’t wish the latter on anybody.

Enjoy the spring. Meantime, here are a few photos from my gardens past to enjoy.

Four-year-old Only Child ready to garden in April

 

Only Child in her backyard patio

 

Backyard Garden 2018

 

Tulips in bloom spring 2018 backyard garden

Happy Spring.

Sharon

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Filed under 1950s, Gardens, Mom and Dad, Only child, Spring

Only Child why no posts for awhile

I have not disappeared off the face of the earth, although sometimes that sounds like a good idea. But I am stubborn and determined, despite being very cranky this winter. But for good reasons – and these reasons are why it has been awhile since I posted here.

My intent is to resume posting – at least every other week and hopefully getting back to weekly postings.

So what has been in my way?

Well, one of the biggies is sporadic or no Internet access – for just over a week late in February. Even my land line went on strike off and on. Combination of old phone wires and old modem and bad luck. I got a new modem and the fibre connection – which is fine with the Internet but I don’t like it with the phone. I have to keep the modem on 24/7 so the phone will work. The 24/7 is okay but not the phone’s dependency.

What’s wrong with this picture? The modem has a battery, but if there is a power failure the battery lasts for only 4 hours. For major power outages that is not acceptable. You might be able to phone the hydro utility, a family member or friend during that time. But if for some reason you have to call the family member or friend or 911 after that and can’t… I’m a senior and need my land line to be an actual land line – not off in cyberspace land. And don’t tell me to get a cell phone – they operate on batteries, so will run out of juice. During the big power outage in southern Ontario in December 2014 (thanks to the ice storm), my landline was my lifeline to my friends and my son. There was a boarder living here then – she had a cell phone and couldn’t use it because it needed recharging.

From another era. Are we too far in the other direction?

Bell Canada smarten up here.

The other biggie is the weather in southern Ontario (and elsewhere -no one has been spared). Too much snow, too cold, mixed precipitation, rain on its own, damaging winds (fortunately the power didn’t go here in Toronto then and I had just had the new Bell fibre system setup and connected two days before). Among other things, I have had to move a dental appointment three times because of weather. It is now on hold until spring, unless it turns into an emergency. Dealing with this weather is and has been horrendous. Below are a couple of shots I took of the outside – at the beginning of one of the big snowstorms.

Above photo – recycling bins waiting to go to the curb. Hah!

 

My backyard patio – where I eat in summer.

The list goes on and on. I swear on one of my pile of mystery books that 95 percent of my problems are not caused by me – they come from what I call “outside” but I have to deal with them. From what I hear from others, I am not alone with this scenario. Many others have been hit with a lot of bad luck since January 1 of this year.

I am a Sagittarius and for 2019 Jupiter is supposed to be my ruling house, meaning lots of good things happening. Well, you astrologers and would-be astrologers, that is bunk and some of us are living proof of it.

Could it be something in the air causing all of this?  Or? (You substitute what you think here).

And what do you think anyway. How is your 2019 so far?

For the record a few good things have happened in my life this year. But the balance of good to bad (or should that be bad to good?) is lopsided. They say that into our life some rain must fall – my emphasis on the some. But we are getting hit with torrents of rain (metaphorically speaking) t seems.

So, my personal way to deal with this? Go after the big trouble-makers/big problem causers and let the rest slide. Connect with the people in my life who really care and I really care about. And

WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!

I am a writer after all. See my website for more on that.

Like author John Irving once said
“Half my life is an act of revision.”

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

 

Beyond Faith book cover

 

 

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Filed under Computer problems, Extreme Weather, Family and Friends, Good and Bad Luck, Life Balance, Life demands, Problems