The Quebec government has responded to this week's reports that it would not be offering personalized license plates due to concerns about inappropriate English-language expressions making their way out onto the streets. Transport Minister Robert Poeti denies the LCN report linking the license plate delay to concerns about vulgarity and instead hits us with an even sadder reason for the program's problems: ancient computers that are incapable of processing personalized tags.
The Montreal Gazette has published statements from Poeti claiming that it will take $4.5 million in system updates to make personalized plates a reality - and that those updates will not happen before 2017 at the earliest. Poeti also put the price of a new plate at $250, not $150, with no word on whether that would be a yearly fee or a one-time-only charge.
At least one portion of LCN's first report is correct: Transport Quebec has assembled a team of lawyers to determine which words would be acceptable in both French and English, and which would be barred from plates. Because that's definitely something our tax dollars need to be paying lawyers to do. Poeti was unable to confirm whether license plates would be required to conform to the province's signage laws, a question the answer to which is perhaps a better use of expensive billable hours from local law firms.