Poilievre asks RCMP to criminally investigate ArriveCan debacle – National |


Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has sent a letter to the RCMP asking the commissioner to expand an investigation into the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to include the problem-plagued ArriveCAN app.

The request comes a day after Auditor General Karen Hogan released a blistering report on the pandemic-era program, calling it the worst financial record keeping she has ever seen.

In his letter dated Tuesday to commissioner Mike Duheme, Poilievre said Hogan’s findings have “exposed corruption, mismanagement and misconduct on a massive scale.”

The auditor general did not use the word “corruption” in her findings and said it was up to the police to decide if what happened was criminal.

But she did slam the program for its “glaring disregard for basic management and contracting practices.”

Click to play video: 'Auditor general slams feds’ poor management of ArriveCAN app'

Auditor general slams feds’ poor management of ArriveCAN app

She estimates the price tag was roughly $59.5 million, but said the project was so badly managed it’s impossible to tally the final amount.

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Poilievre called the handling of the ArriveCAN “completely unacceptable.”

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“There were also severe violations of the Canada Border Services Agency Code of Conduct, including failure to disclose whiskey tastings and extravagant dinners paid for by lobbyists and private interests.”

Poilievre raised his letter to the RCMP in question period Tuesday and attacked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for what he has dubbed “ArriveScam.”

In his first comments since Hogan’s reports, Trudeau acknowledged he “and all Canadians expect public servants to follow [the] rules” but said MPs shouldn’t instruct police on what to investigate.

“We will encourage the RCMP to do its work, but it doesn’t take politicians, even leaders of the Opposition to tell the RCMP to do their job,” said the prime minister.

Global News has reached out to the RCMP for comment.

Click to play video: 'Conservatives blast Liberals for ‘ArriveSCAM’ app after scathing AG report'

Conservatives blast Liberals for ‘ArriveSCAM’ app after scathing AG report

The CBSA says it’s looking into what unfolded, and referred part of the probe to the RCMP.

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Ottawa launched the app in April 2020 to track health and contact information for people entering Canada. But it led to long waits at airports, technical glitches, and forced thousands of people to quarantine by mistake.

Last January, the Globe and Mail published a report detailing the bungled contracting process: Ottawa IT firm GCstrategies, which the government hired to build ArriveCAN, subcontracted the work to six other companies.

The auditor general estimated the average per diem for an ArriveCAN external contractor was $1,090, nearly double what a Government of Canada employee would receive.

The federal government’s reliance on non-competitive contracts with outside firms ultimately drove up prices, Hogan found.

—With files from Global’s Aaron D’Andrea and the Canadian Press

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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