Legislative committee agrees to more public consultation on Daylight Saving Time

The Alberta legislature on Feb. 26, 2016. Wes Rosa, Global News

A government committee determined Albertans will have until late July to provide written submissions about whether the province should get off Daylight Saving Time.

After a lengthy debate Thursday, the committee decided stakeholders have until July 21 and the general public has until July 28 to send in written submissions.

Progressive Conservative MLA Richard Gotfried wanted submissions to be accepted until late August, but NDP members said the timeline would have been too tight to October 4, which is the day the committee’s report is due. They were concerned allowing public consultation until late August would harm their ability to write the report.

READ MORE: Alberta MLA puts forward bill to adopt central standard time year round

MLA Thomas Dang has spearheaded the Daylight Saving bill. He put forward a private member’s bill this spring that would put Alberta on Central Standard Time year round.

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Dang said thousands of Albertans have told him in consultations and surveys they want one time year round for a better quality of life.

READ MORE: Alberta study shows there’s no energy saved in changing the clocks

The change would put Alberta on the same time as Saskatchewan year round, and one hour ahead of B.C. in the summer and two hours ahead of B.C. in the winter.

MLA Richard Starke said the province should have a referendum on the issue. A referendum would cost $23 million if it was a standalone vote, and $2 million if it was held during a general election.

If the bill passes in the fall, it wouldn’t take effect until November 2018.

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