Victoria – Following a six-week public engagement process with feedback from nearly 4,400 citizens, government will not expand the eligibility for B.C.’s Veterans’ Licence Plate (VLP) program to include police officers.
That became a hot button issue when it was first floated in public, and many vets wanted to keep the plates to just military, as a way to keep their memory alive and not “dilute the message”.
Since 2004, B.C.’s military veterans have been eligible to apply for a special VLP in honour and recognition of their service. Earlier this year, the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Veterans’ Association and others had requested that government and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) consider allowing police officers — specifically RCMP — to be eligible as well.
Public feedback to the online survey showed a strong majority of respondents (63%) favoured keeping eligibility criteria the same, while only 36% were supportive of expanding it to include police officers. More than half of all respondents also took the time to leave a written comment about their perspective on the issue. Of those comments, 87% were either not supportive or in opposition to any expansion of the current criteria.
Feedback was received from all regions of the province. People with either only an armed forces background or only a police background were equally represented.
Across Canada, there is no uniform definition of “veteran” for the purposes of issuing specialty licence plates, nor is there one agreed to by all the stakeholder groups who represent people with military service.
The full engagement report can be found here: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/impact/veterans-licence-plates-results/