arrivecan cost

These are the shocking details that explain why the ArriveCan app cost Canada $54 million

While many Canadians had their fare share of complaints about the mandatory use of ArriveCAN, their anger was solidified when news broke that the federal governent spent a shocking $54 million on the app, which every person enterting the country was subject to for more than a year and a half.

After some local companies went as far trolling Ottawa by developing the app for little-to-no-cost over the Thanksgiving weekend, the feds wanted to clarify what, exactly, the money for the app went towards, providing blogTO a full cost breakdown.

According to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the app required two years of work and a total of 70 updates and upgrades.

And, most importantly, the millions invested in it were not just spent on the technology itself, but its maintenance, data management, and more.

"The $54 million we expect to have spent by March 31, 2023 was not just budgeted and spent on the creation and launch of the app itself, which costed $80,000 to launch in April 2020, but also on all the necessary work to operate, maintain and upgrade the app over the last two years," a representative from the CBSA says.

"It also covered the work done by the call centre who answered over 645,000 calls and helped travellers during the pandemic."

The breakdown of the cost, from April 2020 to be spent by March 2023, is as follows:

  • $80k to create the initial version of ArriveCAN on Android and iOS, and another $8.8M for more than 70 releases of the app and website over the last two years as the COVID border measures changed.
  • $7.5 million for the Service Canada call centre who answered over 645,000 calls on COVID health measures from travellers between November 2020, and October 2022 on behalf of both CBSA and PHAC.
  • $5.2 million for data management which was needed for the CBSA and PHAC to collect, report, and monitor the COVID border measures and results.
  • $4.9 million in indirect costs associated with the project, including employee benefits, accommodations and payments to other government departments.
  • $4.6 million to authenticate and verify travellers proof of vaccination credentials delivered by provinces and territories and other countries.$4.6M for cloud hosting services.
  • $4.5 million to build and maintain the other IT systems needed to support the border health measures with real-time linkages to core border administration systems.
  • $4.5 million on technical support provided to travellers, airlines, and airports.
  • $2.3 million to meet Government of Canada standards on cyber security.
  •  $1.7 million to ensure the app and website were accessible for users with disabilities.
  • $1.6 million for internal project management costs, including program, policy and project coordination; legal services; and communications support.
  • $3.8 million for contingency.

As the co-founder of Lazer Tech, one of the firms that cloned the ArriveCAN app earlier this month, noted in a release on the subject last week: "We of course can build a cloned version of the ArriveCAN app extremely quickly and cheaply because we have the blueprint right infront of us.

He went on to ask residents to "have some empathy for all of the pieces outside of purely building the app and experience," adding that "$54 million of empathy is unlikely though."

Lead photo by

@TorontoPearson


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