'I feel like a second-class veteran': Ex-Mountie

RCMP veteran Eric Rebiere of Bath, Ont., says the government is discriminating against veterans by...

RCMP veteran Eric Rebiere of Bath, Ont., says the government is discriminating against veterans by offering different groups of them different benefits packages. (ELLIOT FERGUSON/QMI Agency)

Elliot Ferguson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

KINGSTON, Ont. -- A retired Kingston-area RCMP officer is calling for the federal government to stop what he calls "discrimination" between different groups of veterans.

Eric Rebiere, whose 24-year career in the federal police force ended in 2006, two years after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after taking part in NATO policing missions in Croatia and Kosovo, said the government should have one standard for all people who served in military operations, including RCMP officers who volunteered for policing missions.

"They have created sub-classes of veterans, and that is discriminatory under the (Veteran) Charter," Rebiere said.

"To say we're not veterans is an insult."

At a rally on Parliament Hill earlier this month, Rebiere spoke about how the RCMP has for more than a century participated in Canada's military ventures.

Like other retired RCMP officers, Rebiere is covered by the Pension Act and receives monthly payments, but can't access many of the programs Canadian Forces veterans have.

In a letter, Veterans Affairs Minister Steve Blaney said the RCMP is not covered by his department's mandate and does not qualify for the same benefits as military veterans.

"Veterans Affairs Canada has been partnering with the RCMP for more than 60 years in the provision of certain benefits," Blaney wrote. "However, the RCMP members are not included in the Department of Veterans Affairs Act."


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