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The vice-president of GC Strategies pleads ignorance in the ArriveCAN file

Photo: Adrian Wyld The Canadian Press Authorities suspended GC Strategies' security status last week to prevent the company from bidding on and working on government contracts with security requirements.

Darren Anthony, the second partner of GC Strategies, provided few answers to questions from parliamentarians in Ottawa on Thursday. The vice-president of the firm that won the initial contract for the development of the ArriveCAN application said he did not know the answers to many questions asked of him.

In his opening speech, Mr. Anthony said he had little to do with ArriveCAN. “I was not involved in any contracting process for this project. My participation is limited to my role as security manager,” he argued.

Asked about the fiduciary responsibilities he must assume as vice-president of the company, the latter admitted to ignoring them.

“So you own 50% of a company that has millions of dollars in public procurement and you don't know your fiduciary responsibilities ?” asked NDP MP Taylor Bachrach.

“No, I am not aware of that,” replied the vice-president, provoking the astonishment of the deputies.

He then admitted not having read the report of the Auditor General, Karen Hogan, published last month, nor that of the Procurement Ombudsman.

The Auditor General said at least $59.5 million was added to the bill for 177 updates to the core ArriveCAN app.

Even if he did not read the report, Mr. Anthony also denied, as his associate did the day before, the figures put forward there. Ms. Hogan estimated that GC Strategies would have pocketed $19.1 million in developing the app.

The two partners of the firm claim to have instead received 11 million. Together, they pocketed $2.5 million in commission, we learned Wednesday.

Public Services and Procurement Canada announced last week that it was suspending the security status of GC Strategies, preventing the company from bidding on government contracts with security requirements and working on these.

The government also banned two other companies that contributed to the project, Dalian Enterprises and Coradix Technology Consulting, from participating in the procurement opportunities.

Nearly ten investigations into the ArriveCAN file are underway or have been carried out. Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Harriet Solloway, the latest to launch her investigation, will examine “several allegations of wrongdoing” by two senior public servants following their testimony in the affair.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116