March 10, 2019 12:14 pm
Updated: March 11, 2019 12:36 am

Daylight Saving time now in effect, and the conversation in Manitoba continues

Daylight Saving Time is here and it can affect how you sleep.

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One Manitoba MLA wants to get rid of it. Our neighbours don’t have it. And Manitoba farmers don’t really care.

Daylight Saving Time is now in effect, with clocks ‘springing ahead’ one hour to adjust the amount of sunlight ‘Tobans see during the ‘regular’ day from the spring through the fall.

Agricultural reporter Harry Seimens told 680 CJOB Sunday that contrary to popular opinion, he believes farmers don’t care whether we have a time change or not.

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READ MORE: Should Daylight Saving Time go? Manitoba sleep expert thinks so

“I went out on Twitter this morning and I asked the question and I never got one response, so that’s how important it is,” he laughed. “Maybe they’re all sleeping, I’m not sure.”

However, independent MLA Cliff Graydon disagrees. He has a private member’s Bill before the Manitoba Legislature that proposes to abolish Daylight Saving Time altogether.

He said 70 per cent of respondents believe it’s time to stay on CST all year.

Energy savings?

Daylight Saving Time was first proposed more than 100 years ago, and countries all over the world slowly adopted it to adjust the amount of daylight during regular working hours and in an attempt to conserve energy.

Manitoba Hydro told Global News in November that there’s no energy saved by moving the clocks forward or backward.

“We have no evidence whatsoever that energy is saved because of daylight saving,” Bruce Owen of Manitoba Hydro said. “A lot has changed since it was instituted many years ago.”

Germany was the first country to implement Daylight Saving Time, starting in 1916. Daylight Saving wasn’t widely implemented in North America until 1966, when it was standardized in the U.S. through the Uniform Time Act.

Towns, cities and provinces in Canada also began to adopt it, except for Saskatchewan.

READ MORE: Jewelry store gets set to move 400 watches to daylight savings time

University of Manitoba associate professor and sleep expert Diana McMillan said a slight change in a sleep schedule can make a big difference.

“Even subtle changes in our sleep circadian rhythm [can] have a large impact,” McMillan said. “In the morning, you tend to wake up earlier — you are accumulating a sleep debt for 4-5-6 days. Even that small amount of sleep debt can increase our risks for injuries, being tired on the drive home.”

She said it’s time to do away with falling back and springing forward.

“It’s probably worse than it is helpful,” McMillan said. “We should seriously think about ending it.”

Some provinces claim there are more accidents the day after Daylight Saving Time is implemented, but Brian Smiley of MPI said that doesn’t appear to be the case in Manitoba.

READ MORE: Daylight Saving Time 2019 starts this weekend: What you need to know

“It’s not reflecting in our collision data,” he said. “We looked at the Monday following the time change, compared that Monday to all the other Mondays in the month, and we did this over a five-to-10 year period. And we haven’t seen any significant spiking or dipping in the collision data.

“Many will be more aware of their driving following Daylight Saving change. Many people are very cognizant of the fact that they are losing that one hour of sleep and they’re taking steps to compensate.”

But the biggest pain for me is I do a fair bit of work with people in Saskatchewan, you gotta make sure you adjust that part of it.

Seimens said more sunlight in the evenings used to be a big reason farmers were for Daylight Saving Time. However, with technology like GPS, farmers can practically farm their fields “blindfolded,” he said.

For that reason, he thinks farmers no longer care.

“If they changed it back, and never changed the clock again, so be it. If they keep changing it, so be it.”

“You’ve got to get adjusted to it and I think that a lot of people think that ‘If I didn’t have to make that adjustment, so much the better.’ But when it comes to real life, people will just kind of — adjust and move on.

“It’s not really a big, big issue.”

RELATED: How to adjust your kids’ schedule to Daylight Saving Time

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