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RCMP has ‘multiple’ investigations into federal contracting, force says

Click to play video: 'ArriveCan scandal: Feds will recover money ‘spent inappropriately,’ LeBlanc says'
ArriveCan scandal: Feds will recover money ‘spent inappropriately,’ LeBlanc says
Speaking in question period on Thursday about the government’s pandemic-era ArriveCan app and questions over its hiring of GC Strategies, Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the government would recover any money that was found to be 'spent inappropriately.' – Apr 18, 2024

The RCMP has multiple investigations into federal contracting, though police officials wouldn’t provide specific details.

The information comes after scrutiny over the past year about the handling of the federal contract for the pandemic-era ArriveCan app, which has raised bigger questions about how federal contracts are awarded.

“With respect to this type of activity, there’s a broad number of investigations,” Deputy Commissioner Mike Flynn told the House of Commons committee on public accounts on Tuesday.

Responding to a question from Conservative MP Larry Brock, Flynn said the RCMP has launched more than six procurement investigations

“If you look at ArriveCan as well as other similar types of situations, there are – many is the category I would put (them) in,” he agreed, also saying wouldn’t give an exact number.

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“In the case of ArriveCan, the RCMP can confirm it is investigating all associated matters to determine if any criminal offences have taken place,” Commissioner Mike Duheme told the House of Commons committee on public accounts on Tuesday.

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“Specific to ArriveCan,” Flynn added, “there’s one investigation specific to ArriveCan.”

The two commissioners declined to provide answers to many questions from the committee members, saying they could not comment on ongoing investigations.

That includes information that has already been made public, like how RCMP searched the home of a partner in the company that made the app. GC Strategies partner Kristian Firth and RCMP have both previously said the search was not related to ArriveCan.

In a statement to Global News, the RCMP confirmed it is “undertaking multiple investigations into procurement matters” but would not comment further.

It’s the latest in a series of events that stretch back to the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and plagued the Liberal government.

A report from the auditor general found the federal government spent just shy of $60 million on the app, though it couldn’t say exactly how much because of poor record keeping.

Firth and the other GC Strategies partner Darren Anthony have testified before committees. Anthony denied being involved with the failures of the app and Firth refused to answer questions.

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Firth was later in the House of Commons and held in contempt of Parliament.

He said then he was not evading MPs’ questions. He also apologized in writing.

— with files from Touria Izri and Sean Boyton

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