The Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, makes her mea culpa: the government has “probably done too little” in terms of communication around the deployment of the new digital platform of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). She claims to “learn lessons” from the situation to better plan the continuation of the Government Authentication Service (SAG).
“We have not communicated enough about the deployment of the Government Authentication Service, the first stage of which is the SAAQClic, but afterwards, which will be deployed elsewhere in other ministries”, recognized the one who is also vice-first Minister, in a press scrum in front of the SAAQ Henri-Bourassa, Friday.
She promises that “for the next steps”, Quebec “will put a lot more effort in communication, explanation of this system and reminder of the objective which is to have effective online systems in government” . “We do it so that our children, our teenagers, can have online services. They grow up with tablets in their hands. We need to modernize in government. »
We’ve probably done too little and we’re learning from that. You have to be humble. […] We are not known for our computer avant-garde in government.
Geneviève Guilbault, Minister of Transport
With lip service, the elected caquiste also points, as her colleague Éric Caire did earlier this week, to the errors of the SAAQ’s senior management. “There are a lot of people at the head of the SAAQ who had planning work to do in view of the fact that we were closing the systems for three weeks. We couldn’t think that there wouldn’t be more traffic when it reopens. There is a planning that has not been done quite adequately, ”she admits.
Asked who should answer for the situation and who should be accountable, the Deputy Prime Minister remains more cautious. “Me, in any case, I am there every day, and I consider myself very accountable. Normally, it’s the management of the SAAQ who would be in front of you and who would explain themselves, but it’s been me for a week. And I will continue to do so for as long as necessary. »
“What I’m saying is not that there is no one accountable. In time and place, we will do the analyses, we will see who did what and who should perhaps not do what next time. But right now, I have a situation to manage, I have service centers with waiting times that are not reasonable, ”also raised M.me Guilbault, assuring that “no one washes their hands of that”, but “that indeed, there are leaders who are appointed to positions and who have a job to do”.
90 days more for permits
Quebec also announced Friday a suspension for 90 days of the seizure of a vehicle which is normally liable to a driver who has not renewed his driver’s license. The exception to the rule will concern users whose permit was not renewed between January 25 and March 9.
About 56,000 drivers would be affected in total. They will have until June 7 to renew their license without receiving a ticket. “That already reduces stress and pressure on employers,” said Friday Mme Guilbault.
As for the approximately 2,000 Quebec truckers whose International Registration Plan (IRP) regime expires on March 31, their files will be “prioritized”, she assures.
“Under no circumstances will I accept that a truck driver cannot work from March 31. What I’m being told is that right now, we’re okay with providing service to truckers. It will be the same for taxi drivers: they will be given priority,” concluded the Deputy Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, the queues were still a reality on Friday in several service centers across Quebec. Just over 1.3 million transactions have been completed in person and online since the platform’s launch, the SAAQ revealed Thursday.