A man who killed two people in a drunken crash in Calgary will not be deported to his home country of Mexico, Global News has learned.
In May 2015, Ali Montoya was impaired and driving nearly double the speed limit when he ran a red light in downtown Calgary with his Cadillac Escalade, hitting a taxi and another car.
The cab driver, Amritpal Kharbanda, and his 25-year-old passenger, Jillian Lavallee, were both killed.
Montoya was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
He’s now been granted full parole.
According to documents obtained by Global News Wednesday, the Parole Board of Canada was told by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) that no deportation order will be made.
“An investigation of (Montoya’s) case was conducted and a letter dated Oct. 24, 2017 stated that no further action would be taken in your case by the CBSA,” the parole board stated.
It’s a common misconception that if someone is convicted of a serious criminal offence, they face automatic deportation.
According to the immigration and refugee protection act, before issuing a removal order, the CBSA must consider humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
“If it was my case, I would certainly be arguing that–look, this guy could have been a Canadian citizen many times over–and if he had, he would have been bulletproof and this wouldn’t even be on the table now,” immigration lawyer Michael Greene told Global News.
Greene said he would argue Montoya is well-established in Canada, having lived here since he was just five years old. He is now 23.
Currently in Canada, if an argument is made to a CBSA officer that an exception should be made, no removal order is issued and no hearing takes place–which is what happened in Montoya’s case.
Officials from CBSA told Global News they can’t comment on specific cases due to privacy.
Greene said the system in place is not set up to be fair and lacks accountability.
“I think everybody should go to a hearing so it’s transparent and the public gets to see what’s going on,” he said. “Then the decision-maker is accountable because it’s in the public eye.”
“In a situation like this, where an officer makes a decision, it is luck-of-the-draw who you get as an officer,” Greene said.
In granting Montoya’s full parole, the board noted Montoya did well while out on day parole and has been working as a painter.
“You have shown motivation to work and you have a positive work ethic,” the board stated.
Alcohol abuse has been identified as a contributing factor in Montoya’s criminal behaviour.
While he was incarcerated, he participated in AA meetings and educational upgrading.
“Any return to use of such intoxicants will greatly increase your risk of re-offending,” the board said. “You are not to consume, purchase or possess alcohol.”
The parole board stated there are approximately 75 pages of victim submissions on file from multiple family members and friends of the victims. A total of 25 victim statements were acknowledged by the sentencing judge.
“The magnitude of pain and suffering is clearly defined in these statements,” the board said.
The board also acknowledged remorse on the part of Montoya.
“You described losing sleep at times when you have been consumed by the impact of your offence…you expressed a desire to apologize to these people and advised that you reflect on your offence and the harm done on a daily basis.”
The families of the victims have previously expressed frustration over Montoya’s sentence and status in Canada, but after this latest news, have declined to comment any further.