ArriveCAN (aka ArriveSCAM)

"I'm not upset that
you lied to me,
I'm upset that
from now on
I can't believe you."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

ArriveCAN actually cost $59.5 million

ArriveCAN is a Canadian mobile application, launched in April 2020, which served as a vaccine passport during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was required by the Government of Canada to submit COVID-19 vaccine status and quarantine plans upon returning to Canada.
The app is no longer mandatory as of Sept. 30, 2022 but it continues as a voluntary option. You can use the ArriveCAN customs and immigration feature to complete your declaration in advance if you're flying into a participating international airport.
The ArriveCAN app began as an $80,000 contract awarded to GC Strategies, who then subcontracted the IT work to many other teams of people.
Auditor General, Karen Hogan's Feb. 12, 2024 report, singled out the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), whose "documentation, financial records, and controls were so poor that we were unable to determine the precise cost" of ArriveCAN. Hogan's office estimated ArriveCAN actually cost $59.5 million.
A proposed class-action lawsuit is seeking damages as it alleges the controversial ArriveCAN app was a violation of Canadians' rights. Consumer Law Group of Canada filed a proposed class-action lawsuit in Federal Court on Feb. 16, 2024 against the Attorney General of Canada. It claims the attorney general is liable for the acts and omissions of its "servants/agents" - including the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), which were responsible for the contracting, development and implementation of ArriveCAN.
"I think at this point it's important to take stock of, and summarize, where we're at in this whole ArriveCan scandal and series of hearings. There are a few things that we know as a committee. Number one, we know that $54 million were spent on an app and spent through a two-person company that did no IT work, that was given the contract and subcontracted all of it. And, we know that the RCMP are investigating contractors that have a relationship to this project. We know that the procurement system is broken, and government members, liberal members, have testified to this on this committee. They've talked about the unwieldy and complicated nature of our procurement system, how we have had substantial growth in the public service as well as substantial growth in spending on bureaucracy. We have a bizarre procurement decision around ArriveCan. We have a procurement system that is broken overall, that's leading to a proliferation of Consultants hiring Consultants hiring Consultants who have never done better than they are doing right now. But, we also know that this committee has been repeatedly lied to by various witnesses in response to various kinds of questions. Firth contradicted himself terribly in the course of his own 2-hour testimony. We have a witness today, Mr. Brennan, who has told us that what he put in text messages previously was not true. So, either he was stating untruths in text messages, or he is stating untruths to us as a committee. We further have Cameron MacDonald and Minh Doan, two senior public servants, accusing each other of lying to this committee about who was responsible for the decision to procure ArriveCan. So, we have multiple instances of people lying or accusing each other of lying. In some cases we don't know who it is, but we know one of them is lying, in the case of Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Doan. And, now we have just this week stories coming out about severe professional consequences against public servants who have testified at this committee. We have a story now that Mr. MacDonald and Mr. Utano have been, incredibly, suspended from the public service without pay in the middle of an ongoing investigation. Clearly, this procurement decision and procurement overall has significant problems with it, but, what I'm most struck by is the coverup that we are seeing in the context of these hearings. It should be fairly easy for both public servants and consultants to appear before this committee and simply tell us the truth. It is not a stressful proposition to appear before a parliamentary committee if you simply plan to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But, when we have people who say, for instance, that a text message they sent was speculative and hypothetical, when it has every indication of stating direct knowledge of what happens inside government, then it raises other questions just simply of why there is this ongoing multi-dimensional cover up from both public servants and from consultants. And, it makes me wonder if one of the reasons why people are so reluctant to be forthright and answer direct questions is because of the kind of reprisals that we've seen. When you have senior public servants who are a bit more forthright, in the case of Mr. MacDonald and others have been, who then see negative professional consequences after they've testified before this committee, it maybe elucidates why there has been a reluctance for people to come forward, but, it also raises the question of "what's behind all this"? What is being covered up? What would we find out if we actually got the frank and honest and clear answers from public servants and consultants that we want? So, let me propose, I think what is more than speculative and hypothetical, regarding Mr. Brennan's testimony. I think it's very likely that he does have a contact inside the Deputy Prime Minister's office. That what he said in his text messages was accurate. That he wasn't just making things up in repeated communications with other individuals and in text messages, but, that he was telling the truth at those times. And, now for whatever reason he is embarrassed about, reluctant to acknowledge that he had an intimate knowledge somehow of the workings of the Deputy Prime Minister's office. And, so he is running away from the suggestion that he has any kind of contact or relations within government. It just doesn't make sense to me that somebody would say outright falsehoods in text messages and then dismiss those as "it was just a text message, it was just a hypothetical scenario." He was making statements to other people that he worked with making specific claims about the kinds of conversations that happened inside the Deputy Prime Minister's office. The only logical explanation for Mr. Brennan repeatedly making claims about having intimate knowledge about what was happening inside the Deputy Prime Minister's office is that he actually had such knowledge. So, needless to say, this whole ArriveCan affair stinks. It demonstrates the broken procurement system that exists under this government. But, it makes me extremely curious, and I think will make the public extremely curious, what is being covered up? What will we find when we can actually get to the bottom of what took place?"
~ MP Garnett Genuis, Jan. 17, 2024
Click here to watch/listen.


Committee is in session

The Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates regarding the ArriveCAN Application is currently in session and can be followed here:
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