Have you noticed any of the new ‘Support Our Troops’ licence plates around town?
They’ve been available for purchase since July 23rd through Alberta registry agencies. Created by the province to recognize the contributions of current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the new plate bears an attractive and colourful design.
The Government of Alberta worked with the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services to choose a piece of art that would be meaningful to service men and women and their families in Alberta. The design is done by well-known Canadian artist Silvia Pecota.
The image honours the first four Alberta-based Canadian soldiers whose lives were lost in Afghanistan in April of 2002. The soldiers were all based out of the 3rd battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) in Edmonton, (commonly referred to as Edmonton Garrison). Ptes. Richard Green and Nathan Smith were both from Nova Scotia, while Sgt. Marc Leger was from Ontario and Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer called Quebec home.
The ‘Support Our Troops’ plate is only available to people living in Alberta and only for vehicles registered in the passenger class. To purchase it, you must show ID with an Alberta residential address as proof of residency. The new plate is available for a one-time fee of $75 (plus a $9 registry agent service charge). Thereafter, you pay the regular vehicle registration renewal fees each year.
It cannot be personalized and is issued in sequential order and mailed directly from the manufacturer in Nova Scotia. Fifty-five dollars of that $75 will go to the Support Our Troops Program, administered by the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services.
This group manages the following funds:
➢ the Military Families Fund
➢ the Soldier On Fund
➢ the Hospital Comforts Funds
➢ the Canadian Armed Forces Personnel Assistance Fund
As of the end of October, 3,800 plates have been sold, raising more than $200,000 towards the cause. Readers can go online to www.servicealberta.ca or www.cfmws.com for further information.
The ‘Support Our Troops’ plate does not replace the veterans’ plate and you cannot exchange a veterans’ licence plate for a ‘Support Our Troops’ plate. The new plate complements our veterans’ plate and allows any Albertan to show their support for the men and women who serve in the forces.
The veterans’ plate is exclusively available to Alberta residents who have been:
➢ honourably discharged after serving in the Canadian Forces, an allied force or merchant marine
➢ members of the RCMP or other police departments who served under NATO or the United Nations
➢ Canadian Forces members with at least three years’ active service
(applies to both regular forces members and reservists)
Eligibility is determined by the Royal Canadian Legion. Application forms are available from the Alberta-NWT Command web site at www.abnwtlegion.com.
-written by Hilary Stone with input from Service Alberta staff