Lying Allegations Against Government Officials Over ArriveCAN ‘Concerning,’ Trudeau Says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called allegations of government officials lying to MPs about the $54 million ArriveCAN app "concerning," but has refused to comment on if he would personally cooperate with law enforcement on the matter."Obviously the reports coming out are extremely concerning, and I know that the respective authorities will be taking this extremely seriously," the prime minister said during question period in the House of Commons on Nov. 8."We expect our professional public servants to always conduct themselves with utmost integrity, and I'm sure that will continue to happen."Several government officials have made allegations about corruption, lying, and intimidation during their testimonies in front of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates. The committee of MPs is investigating the ArriveCAN application, which was used by Ottawa to track the COVID-19 vaccination status of travellers entering Canada.The two co-founders of the software company Botler AI told MPs Oct. 26 that certain factions within the federal government had been complicit in corruption. They said "ghost contractors" were added to the ArriveCAN contract and taxpayers' money was siphoned without any legal trace. They also claimed that certain individuals were engaged in exploitation and extortion.A former Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) director testified Nov. 7 that the federal government's Chief Technology Officer Minh Doan lied when he told the committee that he didn't know who hired the company GC Strategies to build the ArriveCAN app. Mr. Doan didn't not respond to requests for comment.Related StoriesMPs have accused the co-owner of GC Strategies Kristian Firth of inflating the work experience of contractors when submitting resumes to the government. Several Conservative MPs have also alleged that the companies behind the app did "no work" and were merely middlemen that received millions of taxpayer dollars.While Mr. Doan had told MPs Oct. 24 that he did not know who hired GC Strategies, former CBSA director Cameron MacDonald said Mr. Doan was the one responsible. Mr. MacDonald also accused Mr. Doan of threatening to blame the decision on him during a phone call in 2022.Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre brought up the revelations in the House of Commons Nov. 8, blaming the prime minister for "giving out contracts to firms that did absolutely no work."The prime minister responded that both the RCMP and CBSA were investigating the incident, and the CBSA had also launched an internal audit to "look into contracting at the agency." He did not answer the Tory leader's questions about if he would cooperate with the RCMP.Mr. Poilievre questioned why GC Strategies—which has two employees—was given $11 million to work on the app. He pointed out that the company had received $60 million from the Liberal government since 2017.Mr. Trudeau said his government was cooperating with all related investigations. "When we see matters of wrongdoing, we ensure that proper authorities are looking into it,” he said. “And of course, our government will always ensure full cooperation with investigating authorities."

Lying Allegations Against Government Officials Over ArriveCAN ‘Concerning,’ Trudeau Says

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called allegations of government officials lying to MPs about the $54 million ArriveCAN app "concerning," but has refused to comment on if he would personally cooperate with law enforcement on the matter.

"Obviously the reports coming out are extremely concerning, and I know that the respective authorities will be taking this extremely seriously," the prime minister said during question period in the House of Commons on Nov. 8.

"We expect our professional public servants to always conduct themselves with utmost integrity, and I'm sure that will continue to happen."

Several government officials have made allegations about corruption, lying, and intimidation during their testimonies in front of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates. The committee of MPs is investigating the ArriveCAN application, which was used by Ottawa to track the COVID-19 vaccination status of travellers entering Canada.

The two co-founders of the software company Botler AI told MPs Oct. 26 that certain factions within the federal government had been complicit in corruption. They said "ghost contractors" were added to the ArriveCAN contract and taxpayers' money was siphoned without any legal trace. They also claimed that certain individuals were engaged in exploitation and extortion.
A former Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) director testified Nov. 7 that the federal government's Chief Technology Officer Minh Doan lied when he told the committee that he didn't know who hired the company GC Strategies to build the ArriveCAN app. Mr. Doan didn't not respond to requests for comment.
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MPs have accused the co-owner of GC Strategies Kristian Firth of inflating the work experience of contractors when submitting resumes to the government. Several Conservative MPs have also alleged that the companies behind the app did "no work" and were merely middlemen that received millions of taxpayer dollars.

While Mr. Doan had told MPs Oct. 24 that he did not know who hired GC Strategies, former CBSA director Cameron MacDonald said Mr. Doan was the one responsible. Mr. MacDonald also accused Mr. Doan of threatening to blame the decision on him during a phone call in 2022.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre brought up the revelations in the House of Commons Nov. 8, blaming the prime minister for "giving out contracts to firms that did absolutely no work."

The prime minister responded that both the RCMP and CBSA were investigating the incident, and the CBSA had also launched an internal audit to "look into contracting at the agency." He did not answer the Tory leader's questions about if he would cooperate with the RCMP.

Mr. Poilievre questioned why GC Strategies—which has two employees—was given $11 million to work on the app. He pointed out that the company had received $60 million from the Liberal government since 2017.

Mr. Trudeau said his government was cooperating with all related investigations. 

"When we see matters of wrongdoing, we ensure that proper authorities are looking into it,” he said. “And of course, our government will always ensure full cooperation with investigating authorities."