As the province continues to reopen services during the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic, the government is trying to find alternative ways to offer some of them, says Transportation Minister Steven Myers.
During Friday’s question period, he said Access P.E.I. sites are important to the communities they are in.
Myers said the government is working on trying to create contactless interactions with Access P.E.I.
“We’re going to work towards a model to reopen our facilities in P.E.I.,” he said.
Because of public health measures in place during the pandemic, the province closed its Access P.E.I. sites, although some have since reopened in Charlottetown, Summerside, O’Leary and Souris.
One of the examples Myers gave of how Access P.E.I. has adapted to the closures is a camera system used to test truck drivers for their licences without having someone in the vehicle with them.
That system allows the tester to follow the truck and see what the driver sees.
Myers said it’s a system that might be adapted to other driver’s licences.
“Other jurisdictions are watching what we’re doing on those adaptations to see if it’s something they could bring in,” he said.
With the province moving to the next phase of loosening public health restrictions, Myers also addressed questions about Access P.E.I. locations reopening.
Access P.E.I. locations:
In Montague, staff will start going back to work intermittently as a pilot site for contactless services with Islanders able to do renewals through Access P.E.I. either by email or phone as the centre opens later this summer.
Myers said Plexiglas has been measured and ordered for the location in Wellington, which will open as soon as they are installed.
At the Tignish office, where only one person works, it is more difficult to ensure they can reopen without putting the employee at risk, Myers said.
“Unfortunately, because of the size of it, I can’t open it as quickly as some of the bigger ones but we will continue to come up with a plan that will work for your community and for our operation.”
Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Hal Perry, who raised the issue Friday, said Access P.E.I. centres allow Islanders to use government services, ask questions about critical issues, as well as bring economic benefits to communities.
“These access centres are vital to Islanders and to communities that they are located in.”