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Dan-in-Ottawa

Auditor general's report on ArriveCAN app raises questions says MP

'Worrying' ArriveCAN report

This week, Canada's auditor general, Karen Hogan, released a worrying report on the Trudeau government's ArriveCAN app, launched in April 2020.

The ArriveCAN app is a software tool that required individuals entering Canada to provide contact and health details. If someone didn't meet the health rules set by the government, the app would enforce quarantine measures like a stay-at-home order. However, the app faced a lot of criticism.

Many people, particularly seniors, couldn't use it because they either didn't have a smartphone, lacked an internet connection, or didn't want to share personal health information with a government app.
The app also had its own issues.

For instance, as the auditor general discovered, on June 28, 2022, the Arrive Can app “wrongly instructed more than 10,000 iOS users who entered Canada between June 28 and July 20, 2022 to quarantine for 14 days, even though they had submitted the required information, including their proofs of vaccination.”

Because of that, many Canadians faced hardship and financial issues. Despite following all the rules, the government didn't provide a way for these citizens to prove their innocence. That was completely and totally unacceptable.

During the audit, the auditor general figured out the total cost of the ArriveCAN program for taxpayers. The app's estimated cost is about $59.5 million, but the actual cost might be higher. That uncertainty is because “the Canada Border Services Agency's documentation, financial records, and controls were so poor that we were unable to determine the exact cost of the ArriveCAN application."

The auditor general also said, "We found no evidence to show that some Canada Border Services Agency employees complied with the agency's Code of Conduct by disclosing that they had been invited to dinners and other activities by contractors.”

Moreover, "We have also been informed that the agency (CBSA) has referred matters relating to certain employees and contractors to the RCMP. Due to the nature of the allegations, we did not pursue further audit work around ethics and the Code of Conduct to avoid duplicating or compromising those ongoing processes.”

"Overall, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Public Services and Procurement Canada repeatedly failed to follow good management practices in the contracting, development, and implementation of the ArriveCAN application,” the report concluded.

"Due to the numerous gaps and weaknesses we discovered in the project’s design, oversight, and accountability, it did not deliver the best value for taxpayer dollars spent.”

It's also worth noting that as of October 2022, the ArriveCAN app is no longer being used to gather travellers’ contact and health details.

After the audit, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre asked the RCMP to immediately expand its existing criminal investigation into the matters surrounding the government's ArriveCAN application “due to findings by the auditor general that have exposed corruption, mismanagement, and misconduct on a massive scale.”

•••

This week, my question isn't about this report. Instead, I'm asking:

Do you believe the Trudeau government spends your tax dollars wisely? Why or why not?

You can reach me at [email protected] or call toll-free 1-800-665-8711.

Dan Albas is the Conservative MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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About the Author

Dan Albas is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola and the co-chair of the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

Dan  is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active Members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and also continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

Dan welcomes comments, questions and concerns from citizens and is often available to speak to groups and organizations on matters of federal concern. 

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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