It’s “offensive” and “misleading” for the Ontario government to promise to donate a portion of the sale price from new Support our Troops licence plates to help military families and then give only a tiny fraction to charity, opposition critics charged Thursday.
The province unveiled the yellow ribbon plates to honour Canadian troops on Remembrance Day, billing them as “a fitting tribute to the heroism of those who served in our armed forces.”
However, the opposition parties were surprised to learn only $2.25 from each set of plates costing $77.75 will go to the Canadian Forces Personnel Assistance Fund, which provides financial help to current and former members of the military and their immediate families.
“It’s misleading at best to have people making a purchase of that nature thinking it’s going to help the military and their families when indeed it’s helping to fill the government’s coffers,” said Progressive Conservative critic Bob Runciman.
Runciman said the government had very carefully chosen Remembrance Day to announce the new Support our Troops plates, a time when Canadians’ are feeling very strong emotions about the role the military plays.
Government Services Minister Harinder Takhar defended the new Yellow Ribbon program, and said the licence plates are about honouring the troops and raising awareness, not about fundraising.
“I don't know why the fundraising issue has taken over the recognition issue and the awareness issue,” Takhar said.