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People’s Party Disavows Former Candidate Who Received $7.9 Million For ArriveCAN Vaccine Passport App

Maxime Bernier’s PPC says David Yeo failed to disclose involvement with vaccine passport app during candidate vetting process

The People’s Party of Canada is disavowing one of its 2021 candidates after learning that he received millions of dollars for contracts related to the development of the Trudeau government’s ArriveCAN vaccine passport app.

The PPC says David Yeo, the far-right party’s candidate in Ottawa West–Nepean last election, failed to disclose his involvement with ArriveCAN, despite actively campaigning against vaccine passports while he was a PPC candidate.

“We certainly are appalled and find it quite hypocritical that one of our former candidates would enable authoritarian measures from the Trudeau government for personal profit,” PPC spokesperson Martin Masse told PressProgress.

“Given Yeo’s actions since the last election, he would absolutely not be welcome back as a PPC candidate in the future.”

David Yeo (ParlVu)

Yeo is CEO of Dalian Enterprises , a two-person IT staffing firm based in Ottawa.

Dalian received $7.9 million from the Canada Border Services Agency for work relating to the ArriveCAN app, a digital tool to show proof of vaccination and manage travel during the pandemic.

CTV News reported Wednesday evening that the Department of National Defence had suspended Yeo after learning Yeo was a DND employee at the same time as he was moonlighting as CEO of a company that was receiving DND contracts.

According to the Globe and Mail, Dalian has been awarded over $100 million in contracts over the last decade, including $26.6 million in 2023.

Dalian and another company called Coradix, which share the same downtown Ottawa office space, have both received more than $400 million in federal contracts over the past decade.

In a statement to PressProgress, Masse said the PPC, which championed the cause of anti-vaccine activists during the COVID-19 pandemic, was surprised to learn Yeo had received contracts linked to ArriveCAN predating his time as a PPC candidate.

“It seems Yeo got the funds to do IT Work that was linked to ArriveCAN before and not after running for us,” Masse clarified, pointing to a 2023 Globe and Mail article reporting Yeo’s company was awarded a $21 million contract in 2019 for “informatics professional services” that was “later used to fund work on the ArriveCAN app.”

“Obviously he was involved before the 2021 election,” Masse said. “Yeo did not disclose this project to us during the candidate vetting process, as this would obviously have been grounds for rejecting his candidacy.”

Yeo did not immediately respond to a list of questions from PressProgress seeking clarification about his role in the ArriveCAN app or employment at DND.

“I will be making a statement to the press shortly,” Yeo told PressProgress Thursday morning. Yeo did not respond to subsequent requests.

During the 2021 election, Yeo campaigned against vaccine passports, including at a local all-candidate’s debate:

In a since-deleted tweet, Yeo also suggested the Province of Ontario was under a “dictatorship” as a result of vaccine mandates and digital passports brought in under Doug Ford’s government.

Yeo provided no response to questions about whether he believes Justin Trudeau is similarly a dictator or how he reconciles the morality of profiting from a technology he has suggested is dictatorial in nature.

David Yeo (Twitter)

The PPC confirmed that Yeo did disclose to the party his employment status with the Department of National of Defence but said it had no knowledge as to whether he took a leave of absence during the election.

“He likely took leave during the election, as all government employees are required to, but we do not have any documentation to confirm such,” Masse said. “This is a matter between Yeo and his employer.”

The PPC spokesperson noted Yeo “was not involved in the PPC prior to his candidacy and has not been involved since.”

 

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Luke LeBrun
Editor
Luke LeBrun is the Editor of PressProgress. His reporting focuses on the federal political scene, right-wing politics as well as issues in technology, media and culture.

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