Trudeau accuses Poilievre of wearing 'tinfoil hat' in heated ArriveCan debate

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre of being a conspiracy theorist after he was questioned about the contracts to build the federal government’s ArriveCAN mobile application.

During Wednesday’s Question Period at the House of Commons, Poilievre pressed the prime minister on a set of criminal investigations, beginning with the SNC-Lavalin affair.

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Poilievre noted that we now know Trudeau “was involved in blocking the RCMP from investigating the criminality of his conduct.”

In response, the prime minister ensured him that the RCMP and the Canadian Border Services Agency’s professional integrity division are investigating both cases.

“The CBSA has also launched an internal audit to look into contracting at the agency and has increased oversight processes when it comes to contracting,” he said in reference to the controversial ArriveCan application.

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Poilievre then reminded the House of Commons speaker, Greg Fergus, that the initial question was about the SNC-Lavalin criminal investigation, not the ArriveCAN criminal investigation.

“I can understand that there are so many criminal investigations he can get confused sometimes, but he sure managed to know enough about them to block them from any scrutiny,” he said laughing.

Trudeau then accused the conservative party of having “no vision for the future of this country, no plan to move Canada forward, and nothing to offer Canadians except cuts, austerity and partisan attacks,” since Poilievre had brought up matters that were settled years prior.

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“One thing we will cut is the ArriveCAN app,” Poilievre replied.

Last year, it was reported that the initial version of the application cost only $80,000, but ended up costing “about 500 times more than it should have been,” Poilievre said.

The application, eventually costing $54 million, was subcontracted to GCstrategies, a two-person firm in Ottawa. The two partners say they personally earned between $1.3 million and $2.7 million for hiring and assembling a programming team.

Poilievre repeatedly pressed the prime minister on whether or not he would co-operate with the police in the ArriveCAN criminal investigation, claiming he is trying to “divide Canadians in order to distract from the costs and corruption he has imposed upon them.”

Trudeau told the Leader of the opposition that he was the one dividing Canadians “on a matter core to public health and public safety.”

“He does not want to accept that over 80 per cent of Canadians chose to get vaccinated during the pandemic,” Trudeau said amid the disruption of hecklers from the conservative party. “We have always stood up for the safety of Canadians while he chooses to wear a tinfoil hat.”

He ended his statement with a standing ovation from the Liberal party and a ruckus from the opposition. The Speaker then reminded members of his declaration “to avoid statements that could disrupt the proceedings of the House of Commons.”

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Originally posted 2023-10-26 18:46:27.