New records show that the government’s controversial ArriveCan app cost taxpayers $20 million in development fees.
This comes as the Liberals announced that they will be making the application optional for travellers entering Canada, while stripping other border mandates including a requirement to be vaccinated.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the $19.8 million bill was revealed in a House of Commons Inquiry of Ministry tabled by Conservative MP Chris Warkentin.
First introduced in April 2020, the application has been plagued with criticisms for burdening travellers and the air industry unnecessarily.
On Friday, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos called the application an “essential tool.”
“ArriveCan is an essential tool. You know if we didn’t have ArriveCan the time it would take for border agents to process the data that are needed to monitor and enforce the rules around the border, that time would be tripled,” said Duclos.
By Monday morning, Duclos and several other ministers announced the federal government would be doing away with making ArriveCan mandatory for travellers.
“As of October 1, 2022, all travellers arriving in Canada will no longer have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Canada or meet COVID-19 testing, quarantine or isolation requirements. All travellers will also no longer have to submit their public health information through ArriveCAN,” a government news release claimed.
The announcement comes after several media reports citing internal sources revealed that an end to remaining border restrictions were imminent.
As it stands, the US still requires those entering the country to be vaccinated.
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre praised the “constant pressure” the Liberals faced to remove mandates after they were lifted.
“After constant pressure from Conservatives & people across Canada, Trudeau Liberals finally back down on the disastrous ArriveCAN app, unscientific vaccine mandates & forced mask-wearing,” tweeted Pierre Poilievre.
“None of the science changes October 1 but because of you, Trudeau has to. Let’s keep it up.”