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OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — Two tech entrepreneurs recently testified before a government committee that during the development of the federal government’s much-maligned ArriveCAN travel app they saw firsthand how federal managers engaged in “extortion,” corruption, and “ghost contracting,” all at the expense of the taxpayer.

During a Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates (OGGO) meeting on October 26, Amir Morv, the co-founder of software company Botler AI, told Canadian MPs on the committee that “acts of misconduct rarely happen in isolation.”

“It is almost always symptomatic of a larger existence and tolerance of misconduct,” he said.

“Individuals engaged in such conduct are also prime targets of exploitation and extortion,” he said.

Botler, which is a Quebec-based company, was a subcontractor for the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) and recently exposed shady subcontracting deals that were not transparent during ArriveCan’s development.

According to a Globe and Mail report, the CBSA gave three companies involved in making the app more than $17 million.

Currently, the OGGO is investigating how various companies such as Dalian, Coaradix, and GC Strategies received millions of taxpayer money to develop the contentious ArriveCAN app.

ArriveCAN was introduced in April 2020 by the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and made mandatory in November 2020. The app was used by the federal government to track COVID jab status.

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.

Canada Auditor General Karen Hogan announced an investigation of the ArriveCan app last November after the House of Commons voted 173-149 for a full audit of the controversial app.

The program was once described by a Canadian border agent as “tyranny.” It cost taxpayers a whopping $54 million, which MPs pointed out was a suspiciously high expense.

LifeSiteNews reported earlier this month that the federal government was exposed for hiding a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigation into the ArriveCan app from auditors.

Companies ‘openly’ engaged in various criminal activities

Morv and Botler co-founder Ritika Dutt testified to the committee about private conversations they had with a managing partner of GC Strategies Kristian Firth, a company with only two employees.

CSBA Director General Cameron MacDonald had urged the two to work directly with GC Strategies. However, the two quickly discovered that all of their work was being run through another company, called Dalian, but they were not told this.

Morv told MPs that the contractors are “openly engaged in various criminal activities” and that they openly “commit fraud on the government by promising influence and requesting material benefit” in return.

In essence, Morv exposed how private companies were being used to funnel taxpayer money into their coffers without public oversight.

Morv also claimed that Firth had regularly boasted that he and his friends, who were senior government officials with contracting authority, said they had “dirt” on each other, which was used as a sort of guaranteed mutual silence tactic regarding the corruption.

Notably, Morv stated that the contractors would not have acted in the way they did if they did not have “backing from factions within the government.”

He then said that part of the federal government had “mobilized to bury Botler’s reports and protect this corruption” after it had sent two reports to the CBSA.

As for Dutt, she told MPs that in December 2022 her emails were hacked and “every record of an email that Kristian Firth sent me was mysteriously deleted.”

She said that this came at the same time CBSA president Erin O’Gorman had said she was going to consider whether to send the reports to the RCMP.

Dutt said that they “watched and waited patiently for someone to do the right thing,” to “act on our reports.”

“But instead, we were heartbroken as they lied. They lied to us. They lied to you at OGGO, they lied to Parliament, and they lied to Canadian taxpayers,” she added.

So-called ‘ghost contracting’ exposed

Morv was asked by Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MP Stephanie Kusie to describe what so-called “ghost contracting” was when it concerned the development of the ArriveCAN app.

According to Morv, ghost contracting could have been how GC Strategies, a company with only two employees, ended up with $11.2 million to help develop the travel app.

In essence, “ghost contracting” is a middleman added to the mix but does not have any sort of legal trace back to the government. The companies do no work, but they make a “significant amount of commission,” Morv said.

Morv said that he is not sure Dalion or Coradix, who received a combined $4.3 million to help develop the app, fit the “ghost contracting” definition; they had hired ghost contractors to do the actual work.

CPC MP Garnett Genuis said that the whole evolving ArriveCAN scandal showed a “horrific system of government corruption” that went beyond the travel app.

He told Morv, “You’re describing a system in which government contracts go to preferred contractors, they claim to subcontract to others, who they claim do the work and they provide reports on this.”

He added, “But those subcontractors might not be doing the work. They might not know they’re being named. They might not even exist in some cases. And then this system allows those initial contractors to overbill taxpayers. Is what’s going on here?”

Morv said, “In this case, the system encouraged the contractors to actually do this. That is correct.”

When the Trudeau government introduced the ArriveCAN app, they made sure of quick compliance by saying at the time, “If you don’t submit your travel information and proof of vaccination using ArriveCAN, you could be fined $5,000.”

Top constitutional lawyers have said ArriveCAN violates an individual’s constitutional rights and that people’s civil liberties on paper have been rendered “meaningless effectively in the real world” because of COVID.

Eventually, in the fall of 2021, the Trudeau government banned the vaccine free from traveling by air, rail, or sea both domestically and internationally.

This policy resulted in thousands losing their jobs or being placed on leave for non-compliance.

Trudeau “suspended” the COVID travel vaccine mandates on June 20, 2022. Last October, the Canadian federal government ended all remaining COVID mandates regarding travel, including masking on planes and trains, COVID testing, and allowing vaccine-free Canadians to no longer be subject to mandatory quarantine.

More than 700 vaccine-free Canadians negatively affected by federal COVID jab dictates have banded together to file a multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuit against Trudeau’s federal government.

Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators urging them to stop more online censorship laws