$11M for No Work and Surging Exec Bonuses in ArriveCan App Scandal

At a Parliamentary Committee on Tuesday, further questions were asked about the $54 million ArriveCan app scandal, but no new answers surfaced.

Franco Terrazzano, the federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, raised alarming questions about government accountability and transparency during the committee meeting yesterday.

Terrazzano revealed that approximately 90% of government executives receive bonuses annually, including those in the three departments connected to the creation of the ArriveCan app: Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).

According to his Access to Information request, the total compensation for executives in these three departments surged by $40 million between 2019 and 2022—a 31% increase, revealed Terrazzano. The average compensation for these executives rose from $193,000 to $204,000 over the same period, which overlaps the ArriveCan app’s history.

The Prime Minister previously criticized the procurement process as “highly illogical and inefficient.” Terrazzano questioned whether the committee would recommend withholding bonuses for executives, especially in light of the ArriveCan debacle. “There is no accountability,” he stated.

Terrazzano also pointed out that despite the Prime Minister’s 2021 letter advocating for an “open and transparent” procurement process, ArriveCan has kept Canadians in the dark.

Access to Information requests filed over a year ago have yielded little information. As of October 2023, CBSA has missed six deadlines without explanation, and any returned documents have included extensive redactions, to the tune of hundreds of pages.

Watch Terrazzano’s statement to the committee below:

Conservative MP Garnett Genuis further intensified the scrutiny on ArriveCan. He questioned CBSA employees during the committee meeting, asking, “So, two guys got over $11 million from the Government of Canada to do no work, and none of you know who made the decision to give them that contract, but you’re currently investigating?”

Check out the video below, with the CBSA giving a bunch of non-answers to Genuis’ questioning:

Minh Doan of the CBSA Treasury Board Secretariat admitted that his team was responsible for the hiring but could not remember who specifically hired the duo behind GCStrategies, which essentially outsourced work for the ArriveCan app. The entire CBSA team avoided answering Genuis’ questions directly.

Larry Brock, MP for Brantford-Brant, also received no answers on how ArriveCan’s app procurement process came to be:

Brock claimed, “the Trudeau Liberals are corrupt to the core,” referring to some of the “criminal activity” behind the ArriveCan app, which is under RCMP investigation:

Terrazzano likened the ArriveCan app scandal to a mechanic initially quoting an $80 repair, only to later claim it would cost $2,600 and then $5,400—with a blacked-out invoice. “This is how taxpayers are treated with the ArriveCan app. We demand accountability,” he concluded.

P.S. - Like our news? Support the site with a coffee/beer. Or shop with our Amazon link. We use affiliate links when possible--thank you for supporting independent media.