B.C. might say goodbye to daylight saving time, says premier

B.C. is considering following Washington, Oregon and California as those states pursue daylight saving time year round.

B.C. considering joining three western U.S. states pursuing a similar proposal

B.C. Premier John Horgan says the province may join Washington, Oregon and California in having daylight saving time year round.

Legislators from the three states recently proposed bills that would end annual one-hour time changes from standard time to daylight saving time, keeping them permanently on daylight saving time.

Horgan says he recently sent a letter to the three governors, requesting they share information on the proposed change. He says if B.C. is to either keep permanent daylight saving time or permanent Pacific standard time, it must be done in all four jurisdictions.

“We have too many economic ties … too many social and cultural ties to have one jurisdiction or two being out of sync with the others,” Horgan told reporters in Victoria on March 7. 

Horgan had previously said B.C. wouldn’t lose daylight saving time, citing those same ties. His comments Friday come just as British Columbians are preparing to set their clocks one hour ahead Sunday, March 10.

Why leave the clock alone?

Washington state Democratic Senator Sam Hunt recently signed onto supporting the state’s bill in favour of year-round daylight saving time. He says it’s been a topic of conversation in Washington state for years.

“We saw in studies there are more suicides around the time change. There’s disruption of life,” Hunt told Early Edition host Stephen Quinn. 

The Gastown steam clock in downtown Vancouver on March 8, 2019. On March 10, we spring forward into daylight saving time. In three U.S. states just south of us — there is a push to spring forward and stay there.

Several studies have found springing ahead comes with a slew of negative consequences, including decreased productivity and a spike in traffic accidents.

A 2014 study out of the University of Colorado found a 25 per cent increase in the risk of heart attack the Monday after the start of daylight saving time.

It also noted a corresponding decrease in the risk of heart attack at the end of daylight saving time in the fall.

Hunt says the change would promote ease of movement between states and avoid schedule confusion in the travel, shipping and entertainment industries.

An act of Congress

B.C. can make the change without any involvement with the federal government, unlike U.S. states. 

If the legislation put forward by Washington, California and Oregon passes in each state and becomes law, it will take an act of U.S. Congress for the states to move to full year-round daylight saving time.

Hunt says if every state passes their bills, all western states should request federal approval together. 

“I think it would create some problems if California were in one time zone and Oregon and Washington were in another time zone. And maybe British Columbia could join us to do it all at once,” said Hunt. 

The change would take at least two years to go into effect.

“Whatever we do, there’ll be change involved, and it’ll take some getting used to.”

Currently, Saskatchewan is the only Canadian province to remain in one time zone all year long. 

error: Content is protected !!