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U.S. citizens: Demand Congress investigate soaring excess death rates

OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) –– Despite Canadian federal authorities at the time admitting the risk of getting a COVID infection from paper forms was low, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said it was that fear that spurred the creation of the federal government’s $59.5 million scandal-ridden ArriveCAN travel app. 

The admission was made by the CBSA’s vice-president Jonathan Moor on April 3, during a testimony at a House of Commons public accounts committee meeting. 

“We were told we could catch COVID from touching documents,” said Moor. “Our number one priority initially working with that was to get the electronic form up and running.” 

Despite Moor’s claims, Canada’s Public Health Agency’s deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Howard Njoo, had told reporters at the start of the COVID crisis that there was no evidence the coronavirus could be transmitted via paper. 

“For postal workers, I am not quite sure what the risk would be,” said Njoo on March 23, 2020. “The risk is not really out there. There should be no chance of interaction.”  

The agency noted at the time that proper hand-washing was enough for federal workers who handled a lot of paperwork.  

Despite the agency itself admitting there was no risk of virus transmission via paper forms, Moor on March 26, during testimony at the House of Commons government operations committee, again claimed getting infections from paper was a reason ArriveCAN was needed. 

“A lot of the individual Border Services officers really were very reluctant to touch paper because the Public Health Agency had said you can catch Covid from touching paper, so the necessity to get a paperless process in place was really important,” said Moor.  

Moor, during testimony, also defended his agency’s work on the travel app, but admitted, “We know we made mistakes.” 

This prompted Bloc Québécois MP Nathalie Sinclair-Desgagné to say to him, “Mr. Moor, all the countries in the world had to deal with that crisis and very few of them thought to have $60 million for an app like ArriveCAN.” 

“In some self-respecting countries there are internal controls,” she added.  

She then asked Moor if he thought he did a “good job,” to which he replied, “I do believe I did my job well during the pandemic.” 

“This is a time where people were crossing the border to return back to Canada when we were told we could catch COVID from touching documents,” he said.  

Besides the risk of getting infected from paper as being a reason for needing to create ArrriveCAN, the CBSA had also suggested other reasons why it was needed. In a report from 2023, it claimed that the app had saved travelers “five minutes” of time at border crossings, however, this claim was disputed by the Customs and Immigration Union. 

The CBSA has also claimed that ArriveCAN “saved lives,” which is a claim it has recognized as being uncertain.  

“The Agency cannot quantify the exact number of lives indirectly saved through ArriveCan,” it told MPs on December 7, 2023.  

Canadians were told ArriveCAN was supposed to have cost only $80,000, but the number quickly ballooned to $54 million, with the latest number showing it cost some $59.5 million. 

As for the app itself, it was riddled with tech glitches along with privacy concerns from users. 

ArriveCAN was introduced in April 2020 by the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and made mandatory in November 2020. The app was used by the federal government to track the COVID jab status of those entering the country and enforce quarantines when deemed necessary. 

When the app was mandated, all travelers entering Canada had to use it to submit their travel and contact information as well as any COVID vaccination details before crossing the border or boarding a flight. 

In February, LifeSiteNews reported that Conservative Party of Canada MPs accused the CBSA of lying to Parliament over sweetheart contracting approvals concerning ArriveCAN.  

Troubled Travel apps’ creation is currently under investigation 

Canadian Auditor General Karen Hogan announced an investigation of ArriveCAN in November 2022 after the House of Commons voted 173-149 for a full audit of the controversial app. 

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO) is investigating how various companies such as Dalian, Coaradix, and GC Strategies received millions in taxpayer dollars to develop the contentious quarantine-tracking program.

LifeSiteNews reported that an investigation into ArriveCAN by Alexander Jeglic, the government’s procurement ombudsman, revealed that three-quarters of the contractors who were paid to work on ArriveCAN did not do anything in building the scandal-plagued app.  

The CBSA was tasked with building the ArriveCAN app, and thus far, the investigation’s report singles out GC Strategies, saying the two-man company did not prove that its list of subcontractors was qualified to work on the app. 

The procurement ombudsman’s report also found “numerous examples” in which GC Strategies “had simply copied and pasted” required work experience that was listed by the government for its contractors. 

The report also noted that it was unusual the government used criteria for the app’s tender that were “overly restrictive and favoured” GC Strategies, which won the contract bid despite the fact no other bids were submitted. 

Last year, LifeSiteNews reported on two tech entrepreneurs testifying before the committee that during the development of the ArriveCAN travel app they saw firsthand how federal managers engaged in “extortion,” “corruption,” and “ghost contracting,” all at the expense of taxpayers. 

U.S. citizens: Demand Congress investigate soaring excess death rates