- Canada's House of Commons government operations committee has suspended future hearings regarding federal contracting misconduct allegations related to the nation's COVID travel app ArriveCAN after accessing what a Liberal lawmaker described as a 'scary' confidential preliminary investigative report.1
- This comes as Michel Lafleur, leading the internal review expected to be concluded by summer 2024, revealed on Monday that evidence to support at least some allegations of misconduct and wrongdoing into the federal government's $54M procurement of ArriveCAN has already been found.2
- On Wednesday, New Democrats and Bloc Québécois members of Parliament backed a Liberal request to dismiss Lafleur over concerns he could be forced to make statements that could jeopardize internal investigations by the Canada Border Services Agency.3
- Meanwhile, Auditor-General of Canada Karen Hogan is expected to deliver her audit report on Monday on how costs of the federal government's smartphone app reportedly skyrocketed from $80K to more than $54M.1
- Previously, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, citing government data, had reported that eight federal health executives assigned to the ArriveCAN project between March 2020 and September 2022 had received more than a combined $340K in 'at-risk' and 'performance' bonuses.4
- Last month, a report released by the Office of the Procurement Ombudsman claimed that 76% of ArriveCAN subcontractors 'did not perform any work,' while the project featured 13 non-competitive contracts, many of which allegedly sidestepped the usual bidding process.5
- Right narrative, as provided by Toronto Sun. The ArriveCAN scandal is just the latest example of, at best, controversial spending and cronyism under the Justin Trudeau administration, following those of WE Charity and Sustainable Development Technology Canada. Despite widespread popular outrage against the government, no one has been held accountable for these misconducts. Hopefully, this time will be different.
- Left narrative, as provided by The Globe and Mail. It seems odd how much Conservatives, who didn't back the motion Wednesday, have changed their behavior on ArriveCAN hearings. At first, they quickly jumped to prosecute civil servants. Now, they have started casting doubts over Lafleur and his preliminary report. Though nothing has indicated the rationale for this move yet, their genuine commitment to the truth has been questioned.