Sgt. Duncan Maillie and then-Minister Rich Coleman display a B.C. veteran licence plate. (British Columbia Veterans Commemorative Association)

B.C.’s veteran licence plates will not be expanded to police officers

Entry to the program will remain only for military personnel

The province’s veteran licence plates will remain available to military veterans only, the government announced Wednesday.

The move follows six weeks of public consultation on opening up the veteran licence plate program to police officers.

In a report issued Wednesday, the province found that 63 per cent of British Columbians surveyed were against giving out veteran licence plates to police officers.

The survey found opposition was nearly 20 per cent higher among Armed Forces members and veterans.

Three-quarters of those with a policing background were in support of opening up the program, with RCMP members more strongly in favour compared to municipal police.

There is currently no federally-accepted standard for veteran plates.

Many veterans, as well as the B.C. Veterans Commemorative Association, had fought against opening up the program.

The association sought to deny RCMP veterans access to the current licence plates on the basis that police do not serve in the military and have a different mandate.

“Serving in the Canadian Armed Forces or the RCMP are two distinctly different services; ‘never the twain shall become one,’” a statement from the organization reads.

It did suggest first responder plates as an alternative to widening the veteran plate criteria, a position supported by 6.5 per cent of write-in survey respondents.


@katslepian

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