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Poilievre asks RCMP to 'expand' investigation into ArriveCan app

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Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre is asking the RCMP to "expand" its investigation regarding matters connected to the government's ArriveCan application, in light of new findings from Canada's auditor general.

On Monday, Auditor General Karen Hogan released a damning report that indicated the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and other federal entities showed a "glaring disregard" for basic management practices or rudimentary financial bookkeeping when it came to the creation of the ArriveCan app during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Central to the report were red flags about a non-competitive process that saw an initial contract granted to small consulting firm "GC Strategies," as well as related alleged mismanagement and misconduct by border agency employees.

Hogan's report also confirmed previous reports that matters related to "certain employees and contractors" had been referred to the RCMP, to examine potential criminality.

In a letter to RCMP Commissioner Mike Duheme dated Tuesday, Poilievre said Hogan's report "exposed corruption, mismanagement, and misconduct on a massive scale."

Now, he wants the federal police force to work with Hogan to "get to the bottom" of what he views as "a serious breach of trust by public officials."

"Millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted by Trudeau government officials who rigged the contracting process for a preferred company," Poilievre alleged in his letter.

"There were also severe violations of the CBSA Code of Conduct, including failure to disclose whiskey tastings and extravagant dinners paid for by lobbyists and private interests... This is completely unacceptable and reeks of corruption at the highest levels."

The Official Opposition leader raised his concerns directly with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during question period.

In response, the prime minister said he encourages the RCMP to "do its work," in examining the traveller contact application and the work done by federal public servants in regards to its development, management, and contracting.

"There will be consequences for anyone who broke those rules or those laws," Trudeau said.

"But, it doesn't take politicians, even leaders of the opposition, to tell the RCMP to do their job. They do their job… and they do it well."

After launching an internal audit of its contracting practices, the CBSA has vowed reforms. The agency affirmed Monday that it intends to work on improving its fiscal management, and going forward will fully document interactions with contractors, and attach clear deliverables to contracts awarded.

CTV News has asked the RCMP for comment. 

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