Photo/Province of BC

The B.C. government will not extend the current Veterans’ Licence Plate (VLP) program to include police officers.

Since the program was launched in 2004, military veterans have been able to apply for a special license plate to recognize and honour their service.

An estimated 57,000 have been issued since then.

The decision not to expand the program follows public consultation that began in July and ended in early September.

“Following a six-week public engagement process with feedback from nearly 4,400 citizens, the government will not expand the eligibility for B.C.’s Veterans’ Licence Plate (VLP) program to include police officers,” a press release reads.

“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.”

Earlier this year, the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Veterans’ Association and others had requested that government and ICBC consider allowing police officers – specifically RCMP – to be eligible as well.

For the purposes of issuing veteran licence plates, there is no current consensus within Canada on the definition of a veteran, so B.C. decided to ask the public for input.

“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.”

The British Columbia Veterans Commemorative Association’s volunteer Second World War and Korean War veteran members administer the program on behalf of the provincial government.

Ben O'Hara