SAAQ: Geneviève Guilbault admits planning and communication errors

By The Canadian Press

Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault admits that the Société de l’Assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ) did a poor job of planning its digital transition and communicating the implications of that transition to users.

“The planning work, as far as I am concerned, was not well done, which means that we end up with queues that it seems that nobody had anticipated, but there is also the communication work. (…) We probably didn’t do enough and we’re learning from that,” she admitted in a press scrum after visiting a Montreal branch of the SAAQ on Friday morning.

However, she refused, at least for the moment, to blame the leaders of the Crown corporation and assumes responsibility for the unreasonable delays and failures of the implementation of the new system, but promises that a retrospective analysis will shed light on the failures of this transition and the responsibility of its architects.

“I consider myself very accountable. You see, normally it is the management of the SAAQ that would be in front of you and would explain, but it is me since a week and I will continue to do so as long as it is necessary because I want this situation to recover, “she said.

Then, she added that “it is not that there is nobody accountable and in time we will make the analysis and we will see who did what and who should perhaps not do what next time”.


New measures

Ms. Guilbault also announced a new measure, namely the extension until June 1, of the validity of driver’s licenses that expired between January 26 and March 9. This measure is in addition to a series of other accommodations aimed at not penalizing the corporation’s clients.

In addition, the Minister added that additional staff will be available to help people who have difficulty registering on the government’s digital portal, a prerequisite to accessing online services, at seven SAAQ branches in Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, Quebec City, Gatineau, Saguenay and Drummondville. The registration process will also be simplified.

Ms. Guilbault came to meet with the branch employees in order to thank them for the additional effort that this transition and its implementation difficulties impose on them, but also to take the pulse of the measures already announced.

She assures that these measures, notably a three-month grace period granted to holders of expired permits and the extension until the end of August for the conversion of international permits, have considerably reduced the pressure.

-This Canadian Press article was translated from French

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