DND Halts Deals with ArriveCan Contractor After Startling Discovery

Following the federal government’s decision to review its program for supporting Indigenous contractors, a discovery by CTV News reveals that David Yeo, the CEO of Dalian Enterprises which played a significant role in the ArriveCan app, is also an employee of the Department of National Defence (DND).

This connection has led to Yeo’s suspension and the initiation of an internal investigation by the DND, amidst concerns over the integrity of the contract awarding process.

Dalian Enterprises, having received $7.9 million for its work on the ArriveCan app, is at the centre of controversy, especially after reports highlighted the company’s portrayal as Indigenous-owned and its substantial share of government contracts, including a combined total of a whopping $400 million with another company, Coradix.

The Department of National Defence confirmed Yeo’s current employment status and his suspension, underscoring the seriousness with which it views the allegations. Yeo’s LinkedIn shows he’s been a DND employees since 1987, or 37 years.

The situation has prompted the DND to take decisive steps, including the suspension of contracts with Dalian Enterprises and a thorough internal investigation to address the raised concerns.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu has announced a review of the policy on awarding contracts to Indigenous businesses, aiming for Indigenous enterprises to secure five percent of total government contract value by 2024.

Canada’s auditor general recently released a report that said the ArriveCan app’s actual cost is an estimated $60 million, but the final number might never be revealed, since there’s a missing paper trail. The Info Commissioner has launched a probe into the alleged destruction of ArriveCan records, while GC Strategies executives have been summoned back to Ottawa again by MPs.

Federal government contracting procedures appear to be a free for all. Yeo having a dual role as both the CEO of a company awarded work for ArriveCan, while also having a position as a DND employee. How does that even happen?

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