A Veteran Redefined
Members of the RCMP and peace officers who have served in a Special Duty Area or on a Special Duty Operation are now included in The Royal Canadian Legion’s definition of a veteran.
The decision was endorsed by an overwhelming number of delegates at the Legion’s 45th dominion convention in Edmonton, June 14-18.
It came unexpectedly during routine updating of the Legion’s General Bylaws in a report delivered by Constitution and Laws Chairman Jim Rycroft. While RCMP have been welcome as ordinary members of the Legion for many years and included in the Legion’s mission statement, the Legion’s definition of a veteran had not changed to reflect this. Dominion Executive Council voted in February to include the RCMP in its definition of a veteran, and so all that was left was to update the bylaws.
The move was made more poignant by a call from Dominion Chairman Tom Irvine who asked delegates to rise in a moment of silence for the three RCMP members killed after being shot in Moncton, N.B., earlier in the month.
When Rycroft made a motion to include the RCMP into the definition, a delegate from Newfoundland and Labrador Command amended the motion to include the peace officers who had served in a Special Duty Area.
The Legion’s definition of a veteran now reads: “A veteran is any person who is serving or has honourably served in the Canadian Armed Forces, the Commonwealth or its wartime allies, or is a regular member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or a peace officer in a Special Duty Area or on a Special Duty Operation, or who has served in the merchant navy or Ferry Command during wartime.”
The change extends the ability of the Dominion Command Service Bureau to support a broader range of veterans.