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Company at heart of ArriveCan scandal banned from bidding on federal contracts

GC Strategies, the company at the heart of the scandal surrounding the ArriveCan app, has been banned from participating in federal procurements with security requirements.

The move is in addition to a November 2023 decision by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to suspend GC Strategies Inc. from participating in PSPC procurement processes.

“PSPC has suspended the security status of GC Strategies Inc. The suspension precludes GC Strategies Inc. from participating in all federal procurements with security requirements,” according to a statement Wednesday from the department.

“The suspensions are in place until further notice.”

As CTV News has previously reported, PSPC has confirmed the firm that received the first ArriveCan contract had been awarded 34 government contracts since 2015, worth a total of $59.8 million, not including contracts awarded to the small company by other government departments and agencies.

PSPC said last month that ongoing reviews allowed the department to confirm there were a small number of “lower-value” contracts outside of PSPC’s contracting authority, the total of which is estimated to be around $50,000.

The ill-fated ArriveCan app has been back in the headlines in recent weeks in light of a series of revelations, from a scathing auditor general report that raised red flags about the government’s management and contracting practices related to the ArriveCan app, to the news that the CEO of Dalian Enterprises, which received $7.9 million for its work on the app, was a government employee.

MPs have been endeavouring for months to probe the problematic pandemic-era app, and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has also advocated for the merits of a deeper dive by police into the matter.

Pointing to the ongoing investigations related to the controversial ArriveCan app, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that there will be consequences for anyone who tried to profit improperly from the “extraordinarily difficult” COVID-19 era.

With files from CTV News’ Rachel Aiello and Spencer Van Dyk

This is a breaking news story, more to come… 

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