Should RCMP officers get veteran licence plates? The B.C. government wants your thoughts

The B.C. Government is considering changing who can apply to receive a veterans license plate.
The B.C. Government is considering changing who can apply to receive a veterans license plate. B.C. Government

The veteran licence plate may soon be for more than just military veterans.

The B.C. government kicked off a public consultation process on Monday on whether police officers should be eligible to apply for a veteran licence plate in British Columbia.

Since 2004, military veterans have been eligible to apply for a special licence plate to recognize and honour their service. The B.C. government has received requests from the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Veterans’ Association, and others to expand the criteria to allow eligibility for veteran Mounties.

“The application process across the country is not uniform, and in that context we are making applications to the authorities responsible to determining eligibility in B.C.,” said Ralph Mahar, executive officer of the RCMP Veterans’ Association.

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“We are recognized by the Government of Canada as veterans and in that context we are looking to have that same kind of recognition and representation for veterans for the service members put in over a course of a career.”

The public engagement will be open until Sept. 4.

Since the program was created in 2004, an estimated 57,000 veteran licence plates have been issued. The plate does not come with additional benefits, just recognition of a veteran’s service.

Currently, the British Columbia Veterans Commemorative Association’s volunteer Second World War and Korean War veteran members administer the veteran licence-plate program on behalf of the provincial government. The plates depict the National War Memorial in Ottawa and the red poppy that is synonymous with remembrance across Canada.

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If an RCMP officer from Alberta, B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, PEI, Yukon or the Northwest Territories has served in a UN or NATO operation they would be eligible for the veteran plate.

Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland do not require UN/NATO service and will issue veteran plates to all regular members of the RCMP.

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