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Understanding the Investigations Into ArriveCan Developers: Criminal and Parliamentary Probes Explained

A simple mobile application with an initial estimated cost of $80,000 has turned into a $59.5 million scandal as law enforcement and political agencies and committees probe the now infamous ArriveCan app.

The application was created during the pandemic to track incoming travellers sent to quarantine and later their COVID-19 vaccination status. It quickly received a frosty reception from those forced to deal with disruptive glitches and long wait times to enter the country. The controversy expanded when MPs began digging into the unexpectedly high costs and questionable contracting practices linked to the app’s development.
Several investigations into the app have been completed, and several more are ongoing. Here’s a look at where these probes stand.


The House of Commons passed a motion for the auditor general to conduct a performance audit of ArriveCan in November 2022, following months of negative headlines surrounding the app.

Canada’s Auditor General Karen Hogan released her long-awaited report on the application Feb. 12, in which she criticized the government agencies responsible for overseeing its development and implementation. Ms. Hogan said the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)—showed a “glaring disregard” for standard management and contracting practices with ArriveCan.

The report also estimated the app cost $59.5 million, but indicated the figure may be inaccurate as it was based only on available documents. Ms. Hogan said the data management for ArriveCan was “probably some of the worst financial record-keeping that I’ve seen.”

Ms. Hogan met with the RCMP to discuss the findings of her report on the ArriveCan app and said she would hand over relevant documents at the force’s request.

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Canada’s Procurement Ombudsman Alexander Jeglic released a report Jan. 29 that found 76 percent of contractors hired to work on ArriveCan did no actual work on it. The report also said there were issues with missing documentation.
That report found several cases in which task authorizations did not meet the criteria to work on the app. It said there were “numerous examples” of suppliers copying and pasting the mandatory requirements as their project experience.

Ongoing Audits and Investigations

CBSA’s executive director of professional integrity Michel Lafleur is also conducting an investigation of ArriveCan. The preliminary statement of facts, which was obtained by Conservative MP Larry Brock, said the CBSA found employee misconduct so serious that it required the RCMP to investigate criminal charges of fraud and bribery.

The RCMP confirmed in October 2023 it was investigating the potential misconduct of three companies that worked on the ArriveCan app: GC Strategies, Dalian, and Coradix. The auditor general’s report estimated that GC Strategies received $19.1 million for work on ArriveCan, while Dalian and Coradix received $7.9 million.

The allegations under investigation by the RCMP were brought forward by Quebec-based software company Botler AI. The company, which worked on a pilot project for the CBSA in 2019 and dealt with contractors and officials involved with ArriveCan, testified they witnessed “corruption” and “fraud” taking place within the CBSA.

The RCMP told The Epoch Times it received a Feb. 13 letter from Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, who asked the force to expand its current criminal investigation into the contracting practices of businesses involved in ArriveCan.

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

The Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO), which has been investigating ArriveCan for months, ordered a 10-year audit Feb. 14 of all federal payments to GC Strategies. The committee adopted the motion sponsored by Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie, which calls for the auditor general to examine “all payments to GC Strategies and other companies incorporated by the co-founders, and all contracts with the Government of Canada.”

Procurement Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said Feb. 14 that contracts with GC Strategies have been suspended since November, around the time the auditor general began her probe into the app. However, PSPC told The Epoch Times some contracts with other federal entities are still ongoing and it has contacted the departments to express concern.

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