In light of the Auditor General’s findings, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is urging the RCMP to expand its existing criminal investigation into the ArriveCan application. 

Poilievre sent a letter to RCMP Commissioner Mike Duheme, highlighting egregious mishandling and potential corruption in the app’s development, which ballooned from a budget of $80,000 to nearly $60 million — 750 times over budget.

Poilievre’s letter comes two days after Auditor General Karen Hogan released a report showing that the ArriveCan app cost Canadian taxpayers an estimated $59.5 million. Hogan also stated that the final bill could be much higher, due to the government’s poor record-keeping.

“In this audit, we found disappointing failures and omissions everywhere we looked,” said Hogan. “I believe that this audit of ArriveCan shows a glaring disregard for basic management practices.”

A previous investigation by the Procurement Ombudsman showed that 76% of subcontractors that were part of the winning bid did no work on the contract. Poilievre added that there were also violations of the CBSA code of conduct, including failure to disclose whiskey tastings and dinners paid for by lobbyists and private interests.

“The application also didn’t work, as 10,000 Canadians were mistakenly forced into quarantine. This is completely unacceptable and reeks of corruption at the highest levels,” said Poilievre. 

Poilievre questioned how a company that had never before received contracts from the federal government started to receive an avalanche of contracts just three weeks after the Liberals took office.

“It’s obviously an unacceptable situation, which is why the relevant authorities are fully investigating exactly what went on here, particularly highlighted by the Auditor General’s recent report,” replied Trudeau. “The relevant authorities need to follow up on this and get to the bottom of exactly how this unacceptable situation happened.”

Hogan said that she met with the RCMP prior to publishing her report and talked to them in general about her findings. 

“[I] said to them, once it was made public, if they would like to have access to our file to see our evidence that they should send me a production order,” said Hogan.

An RCMP spokesperson confirmed that they had received Poilievre’s request, according to Global News.

“The RCMP is assessing the available information, including the Auditor General’s performance audit report and will take appropriate action,” said Sgt. Kim Chamberland. 

Originally designed to curb the spread of COVID-19, the ArriveCan app mandated travellers to submit personal and vaccination details before entering Canada.

Of all the contractors that worked on ArriveCan, GC Strategies had the biggest price tag at $19.1 million. 

GC Strategies has won approximately 140 federal government contracts totalling $258 million since Trudeau took office in 2015.

The company has four employees and operates out of a suburban basement. 

Public Services and Procurement Canada has suspended all contracts with GC Strategies at the Canada Border Service Agency’s request. The contracts awarded to this company are under review by the department. 

Certain employees and contractors have had their cases referred to the RCMP, according to the National Post.

A press release issued by the Conservative Party said that the ArriveCan scandal is just the tip of the iceberg.

“In 2022, third-party consultants like GC Strategies, were awarded $17.7 billion in contracts, while ordinary Canadians are struggling to pay for groceries or heat their homes.”