ArriveCan Contractor Kristian Firth at the Bar of the House of Commons: “No, I am not ashamed”

OTTAWA – GC Strategies partner Kristian Firth appeared on April 17th at the bar of the House of Commons to receive an admonishment from Speaker Greg Fergus and answer questions from MPs about the scandal of the app ArriveCan.  

Firth was summoned to the bar after the House passed a motion finding him in contempt over his refusal to answer certain questions during his committee testimony about his company’s work on the ArriveCan app. He faces several rounds of questioning from MPs following the rebuke from the Speaker.

GC Strategies is an IT company flagged in Auditor General Karen Hogan’s February 2024 report on the app imposed in times of Covid-19 by Justin Trudeau’s government to track arrivals in Canada. She reported that the company was paid an estimated $19 million for its work, while the overall cost of the app was approximately $59.5 million, although the cost of the operation was only a few tens of thousands of dollars.

Firth insisted in the House that while his answers were at times “obtuse,” he was not evading MPs’ questions, and he defended his company’s actions.

Firth is the third non-MP to be summoned to the bar of the House since 1913. The last time the House summoned a private citizen was in 2021, when Public Health Agency of Canada president Iain Stewart was reprimanded for the agency’s failure to obey an order concerning the submission of documents related to the firing of two scientists from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. But since 1913, none were forced to answer questions in the House.

After two hours, Kristian Firth was discharged by the Speaker. His last response, before being escorted out of the House by the sergeant-at-arms: “No, I am not ashamed”.

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