Federal report alleges deleted emails, bribes as part of ArriveCan boondoggle

Liberal MPs expressed shock Monday afternoon as Conservative MP Larry Brock read a report alleging 'serious employee misconduct,' including a 'solicited bribe' in the ongoing scandal surrounding the ArriveCan app.

Federal report alleges deleted emails, bribes as part of ArriveCan boondoggle
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
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The plot thickens for the controversial ArriveCan program as the latest report into the pandemic app poses bribery allegations.

Liberal MPs expressed shock Monday afternoon as Conservative MP Larry Brock read the confidential document during the Commons government operations committee, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

The report Preliminary Statement Of Facts alleged “serious employee misconduct, so serious that you required the RCMP to investigate at least two criminal charges, fraud and bribery,” said Brock.

Page 10 of the report alleged an ArriveCan contractor “solicited a bribe,” he added. “It is very clear.” 

“Are they supposed to be talking about this?” asked Liberal MP Parm Bains of Brock.

“I don’t believe any of us have actually seen this Statement Of Facts,” added Liberal MP Charles Sousa. 

The report predates the suspension of two former Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) managers and an ongoing RCMP investigation into ArriveCan, the committee learned.

Among the confidential records include supplementary allegations that a CBSA manager deleted four years of ArriveCan emails between 2018 and 2022. 

“The approximate amount of those emails is roughly seven gigabytes or 1,700 emails,” said Brock, while CBSA executive director of professional integrity, Michel Lafleur, testified before the committee.

“I have seen no indication of widespread corruption,” said Lafleur.

“You would agree with me, sir, that deleting emails is an extremely serious offence?” asked Brock. “It would be a breach of the code of conduct to wilfully delete emails,” replied Lafleur.

“Did you notify the Auditor General of four years’ worth of deleted emails?” asked Brock. “I notified the Auditor General that I had received allegations,” replied Lafleur.

“Was the Treasury Board Secretariat informed?” asked Brock. “No,” replied Lafleur.

“Did you inform the RCMP of potentially four years’ worth of highly confidential relevant emails?” asked Brock. “We are required to report potential criminality,” replied Lafleur. “I have no evidence of that at this time.”

“Wow,” said MP Brock. “No evidence of potentially deliberately deleting emails, and that is not criminality to you? Wow.”

An Auditor General’s report into ArriveCan is due February 12. 

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, a separate January 29 report by the Procurement Ombudsman identified widespread irregularities in the ArriveCan contracts.

This is a developing story.

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  • By Tamara Ugolini

PETITION: No ArriveCan App

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