EDITORIAL: Plate mail

We brought you the story last week about a controversial proposal to begin allowing retired RCMP members to get special veterans B.C. licence plates.

The program was started in 2004 by the B.C. Veterans Commemorative Association as a way to create greater recognition by the public of the sacrifices veterans have made. Yet the Royal Canadian Legion’s B.C./Yukon Command is lobbying the NDP for the change – as if policing and serving in the armed forces are the same thing.

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Overwhelmingly, the response from our readership has been than that military veterans and military veterans alone deserve to drive around with veterans plates. We agree. To add the RCMP to the program would conflate two types of service and dilute the meaning of the term veteran.

If the province is getting even remotely close to the same response we are, they should leave this idea on paper.

This is not to diminish what the RCMP members do or to say that they are undeserving of some recognition when they retire.

But the same goes for municipal police, which the legion is not currently lobbying for. And for firefighters. And for paramedics. All of them put themselves in harm’s way in the name of helping out so we fully support the idea of a first responder licence plate.

We also greatly appreciate what the legion does, both for veterans and for the wider community. But when it comes to the commemorative licence plates, we believe veterans deserve unique recognition that is theirs and theirs alone. The legion, of all organizations, should support them on this and – with respect – stay in its lane.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.

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