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Failure to Thunderbolt: Under the Sun During Crisis

SAAQ has placed an employee in a key position on leave as the services transition to its digital portal. While Quebecers go through the crisis, the Director General of Communications and Public Relations takes it easy under the Punta Cana sun.

“Desktop notifications off, luggage locked, check-in complete: Punta Cana, here we go,” she wrote on her personal Facebook page on March 2.

Meanwhile, angry citizens are having to stand for hours in front of SAAQ offices because they are unable to access services through the new SAAQclic portal. Prime Minister François Legault himself admitted last Friday that the situation was “unacceptable”.

Why can vacations be granted to members of a public institution’s management when the situation is very critical and requires continuous communication to inform citizens?

“It’s not just about one person,” Annemarie Dassault-Turcotte, a spokeswoman for SAAQ, answered by email. All vacations taken as part of spring break and planned for a long time were allowed, regardless of persons.

“We make sure we have the right people in place to take over the temporary duties of people on vacation and the teams at work to carry out all the tasks,” she added.

  • Listen to the interview with Jonathan Bolduc, a native of Trois-Rivières who saw his car seized by the pound due to a mistake by SAAQ on QUB radio:

Unrest and long queues also forced the Minister of Transport, Genevieve Guilbeault, to expect her return from Europe to come and put her shoulder to the wheel.

Since March 1, he has been the Deputy Prime Minister of the Old Continent to learn about the financing mechanisms of public transportation. After visiting the Paris metro, she also had to go to London and Stockholm and then return to the country in the middle of the week.

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However, it preferred to shorten its journey, while SAAQ was badly shaken by this customer service crisis. The minister arrived in Quebec on Tuesday, shortly after 4 p.m.

Last June, Ms. Gilbolt was adamant with the federal government during the passport crisis. Half of our taxes go to the federal government. So it’s not normal for services to be so disruptive,” she said at the time.

On Sunday, SAAQ announced that it would reassign 150 employees to welcome customers and help with online check-in, and longer hours to try to meet demand. It is expected to return to normal in April.