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ArriveCan contractor summoned to be admonished



“In an unprecedented and bold move, Members of Parliament exercised their rarely used parliamentary power by summoning an ArriveCan contractor to appear before the House of Commons. The contractor, Kristian Firth of GC Strategies, was publicly admonished and compelled to answer questions that MPs felt he had previously avoided.

A Controversy Unfolds

The decision to summon Firth was a result of intense scrutiny and investigations into the improper contracting and management practices surrounding the ArriveCan application. GC Strategies was initially awarded the contract for the app, but further subcontracted other companies while reportedly keeping a commission.

Firth’s appearance before the House committee last month was met with skepticism due to what MPs perceived as evasive responses. As the questioning began, concerns arose about Firth’s medical condition, with some MPs questioning the appropriateness of interrogating him. Despite these hesitations, the proceedings continued with occasional pauses granted as needed.

Acknowledging Mistakes

During his appearance, Firth admitted to potential mistakes in his past testimonies and responses. He clarified that his company had not been asked to return any money, even though the Auditor General stated that Canadians had overpaid for the app due to poor record-keeping.

The questioning intensified, leading to a significant moment where Elizabeth May of the Green party directly questioned Firth’s integrity, to which he responded defiantly that he was not ashamed.

RCMP Confirms Investigation

Coinciding with Firth’s appearance before the House, the RCMP confirmed executing a search warrant at a property registered to him. The search, conducted by the Sensitive and International Investigations unit, was not related to the ArriveCan investigation, but rather to the Botler AI allegations that Firth claimed would exonerate him.

Parliamentary History in the Making

The House of Commons Speaker reflected on the historic nature of the summoning and public admonishment of Firth. Such actions are rarely seen, with the last instance dating back more than a century.

The privileges and duties of the House must be upheld, and obstruction must be addressed. Following the admonishment, the government operations committee will review Firth’s testimony and potentially recommend further action.

In conclusion, the events surrounding Kristian Firth and the ArriveCan controversy highlight the complexities and challenges of government contracting. With ongoing investigations and growing scrutiny, the outcome of this unprecedented parliamentary action remains to be seen. As the repercussions unfold, it prompts us to reflect on the accountability and transparency required in public service to uphold the trust of the Canadian people.”



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