Well, I seem to have waded into the middle of a bit of controversy on the issue of veterans plates in BC, and what constitutes a veteran. If you missed it, here is Global’s coverage on the issue.
I think that Global’s coverage was fine, but there were some points I made that unfortunately ended up on the cutting room floor. Here’s a quick summary of where the Legion stands:
For the purposes of veterans plates, we are really looking for a standard definition across the country of who is eligible. We don’t have one now, so someone who has a veterans plate in one province may not have it in another. Since the Legion is vetting applications in all but one province (BC), it makes sense and should be reasonable to expect we can apply the process consistently
The RCMP deserves consideration. They are a national force that has a long history of service to this nation, including military:
– the first Commanding Officer of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), was Sam Steele, then a Superintendent in the Northwest Mounted Police
– during the Boer War, members of the NWMP served as part of the Canadian Mounted Rifles. It was because of their service in South Africa that King Edward VII gave them the title of Royal Northwest Mounted Police in 1904
– During WWI, the RNWMP raised three Squadrons for overseas service: A Squadron in France, B Squadron as part of the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force, and a squadron that served with the Canadian Light Horse.
– During WWII, the RCMP formed a Provost Company out of volunteers from their ranks.
– The RCMP was accorded the status of a regiment of Dragoons in 1921, and is entitled to wear battle honours for its war service.
– RCMP have deployed across the globe in support of peacekeeping.
– the RCMP is specifically included in the Veteran’s Bill of Rights, and its members are eligible for veteran benefits through Veterans Affairs Canada.
Anyways, that’s the Legion position. There are many who agree, just as there are many who do not. I am interested in your views, so if you have an opinion on the matter, please feel free to leave a comment.
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