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ArriveCan Scandal Investigation Shut Down

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In a shocking display of political cover up, it was a Liberal MP who first sounded the alarm about disturbing allegations in a secret preliminary report about the ArriveCan app, calling the report’s contents downright “scary.” Yet now the Trudeau government is scrambling to prematurely shut down parliamentary hearings into this $54 million debacle before the full facts are known.

The Liberals are clearly afraid of what the truth will reveal so close to the Auditor General’s report on ArriveCan. Their sudden flip-flopping from wanting to investigate to desperation to bury the issue reeks of partisan damage control. The Liberals seem more concerned with limiting embarrassment than getting accountability for millions wasted on a defective app.

Well, Canadians deserve the full story on what went wrong with ArriveCan. The Conservatives will not let the Liberals quietly sweep this under the rug to save their own skin. We will keep fighting to drag the truth into the disinfecting light of public scrutiny, no matter how much the Liberals squirm to keep it hidden. 

Real leadership means taking responsibility even when it’s uncomfortable. Too bad for Canada that taking responsibility is clearly not Justin Trudeau’s strong suit.

In fact it was a Liberal MP, not the Conservatives, who first raised alarms about the secret preliminary report on ArriveCan by calling it “scary.” Yet the Liberal party is now leading the charge to prematurely shut down parliamentary hearings into this issue before all the facts are known.

The Conservatives believe the Liberal party is trying to cover up the truth to limit political damage just days before the Auditor General releases her report. This smacks of partisan politics taking priority over accountability and transparency.

The preliminary investigation contains disturbing allegations of misconduct in relation to ArriveCan that the Liberal government appears all too eager to sweep under the rug. The Conservatives maintain that shutting down the hearings poses a risk of obstructing justice if prosecutions are warranted down the line.

Liberal MP Majid Jowhari was the one who first raised concerns by describing the preliminary investigation report as downright “scary.” Yet now the Trudeau government is essentially accusing their own member of exaggerating the situation. Apparently the Liberals believe Jowhari is either grandstanding or simply doesn’t understand the legal implications of the report. They have dismissed his warnings as misguided while moving to prematurely end parliamentary hearings into this issue. The Liberals seem more interested in discrediting voices within their own party sounding the alarm than seriously investigating allegations of misconduct. Once again, the Liberal reflex appears to be covering up the ArriveCan scandal rather than uncovering the truth.

The House of Commons committee heard testimony from Michel Lafleur, who had conducted a preliminary investigation into misconduct allegations related to ArriveCan and border services contracts.

Conservative MP Larry Brock criticised Lafleur’s report, saying it was flawed and portrayed unproven accusations as facts. Brock specifically took issue with Lafleur’s description of an investigation dubbed “Project Helios.”

Lafleur’s confidential report was distributed to committee members but not their staff. The committee had debated keeping the report private.

During the hearing, Brock revealed he had obtained a copy of Lafleur’s report already. Other MPs expressed they had not seen it yet at that time.

The committee proceeded to distribute the report only to MPs in attendance. However, soon after reviewing Lafleur’s findings the Liberal, NDP, and Bloc members voted to halt his testimony altogether.

The interactions between Brock and Lafleur highlighted political tensions over the investigation. The Conservatives pushed for more scrutiny of Lafleur’s preliminary findings while the other parties moved to suspend further questioning.

On top of all that, Trudeau’s top IT bureaucrat is revealed to have deleted over 1700 emails about program’s funding and contracts, then refuses to confess that he did it. The government is clearly attempting to conceal the truth and evade accountability regarding the ArriveCan controversy. The Liberals are desperately trying to hide incriminating evidence.

The willful destruction of these public records requested under Access to Information laws is nothing short of corrupt obstruction. Yet the Liberals brazenly dismiss this as a non-issue, refusing to take any responsibility as usual.

The deleted emails likely contained damaging revelations about ArriveCan that would further embarrass the government if made public. That’s why the Liberals are so frantically blocking scrutiny and shutting down parliamentary hearings before the full story emerges.

The Liberals have accomplished the impossible – developing an app for a mere $80,000 that somehow ends up costing taxpayers over $54 million. What a bargain! The Trudeau government must have cutting edge accountants, since they can turn an $80k estimate into $54 million in actual costs while keeping a straight face and claiming nothing improper occurred. Such fiscal magic is rarely seen outside of corrupt regimes and mafia money laundering operations.

But the Conservatives remain skeptical that an app’s price tag could multiply by 675 times the original quote without any shenanigans taking place. Call them old fashioned, but the Tories still believe basic math should apply, even to Liberal pet projects. The Grits can try to bury the ArriveCan boondoggle, but Canadians deserve an honest explanation, not more evasive excuses. Of course, taking responsibility has never been the Liberals’ strong suit. The Conservatives will keep demanding answers and accountability until the truth about the ArriveCan scandal is fully exposed.

Unlike the Liberals, the Conservative party is determined to get to the bottom of how $54 million was spent on ArriveCan, especially if unscrupulous behavior was involved. The Tories will continue pushing for the full facts to come to light, even if the Liberals prefer keeping Canadians in the dark to protect themselves politically.

The Conservative party stands for openness and believes Canadians deserve to know if public funds were misused or laws broken. The Liberals seem more concerned about saving face than exposing the truth. The Tories vow to keep fighting on behalf of taxpayers for transparency and accountability regarding ArriveCan. The Liberals may prefer a cover up, but Conservatives will keep advocating for the full story to come out.

The Trudeau cabinet seems to believe obscuring facts and covering up scandals does not constitute criminal activity. But Canadians deserve full transparency from their government, not more Liberal efforts to conceal the truth.

The email deletion gives the game away – the Liberals have plenty to hide when it comes to ArriveCan and will go to great lengths to avoid accountability. Conservatives must keep pushing for the real story to come to light, no matter how much the government tries to hide it.

Doubt and questions are laying here now about where things go from here. The destruction of evidence being dismissed so casually by the Trudeau government raises uncertainty about accountability being served.

Canadians are left wondering if the truth about ArriveCan will ever come to light now that vital records have been permanently erased right as parliamentary hearings ramped up. Will the Liberal majority on the committee be able to brush this email deletion under the rug too? Or will Conservatives and the other parties continue pressing for answers?

What additional information could have been uncovered if those emails had not been deleted? Did they contain incriminating conversations about improper contracting practices or political motivations behind ArriveCan? Were expense abuses detailed that auditors will now never see? We may never know for sure.

As this saga continues unfolding, Canadians await the next chapter with bated breath. Will the truth prevail despite the Liberal government’s best efforts to hide it? Or will Trudeau and his party manage to keep stonewalling and running out the clock until the ArriveCan scandal fades from public attention? For now, we are left wondering whether real accountability and transparency will win out over brazen obstruction and evasion. The fate of this critical parliamentary investigation remains uncertain as the Conservatives continue facing pressure from the Grits to drop the matter. Time will tell whether justice is ultimately served or denial and cover-up carry the day. For the sake of our democracy, we must hope truth triumphs over political gamesmanship. But with this government, nothing is guaranteed except more Liberal spin.

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