Boundary-Similkameen MLA fights to keep Daylight Saving Time year-round
On Sunday morning, most Canadians turned their clocks forward one hour to gain more sunlight during the day, but at the expense of one hour of sleep.
Researchers have found the biannual clock change can result in an increase in health-related issues, workplace accidents, and car crashes.
Now, there is a growing global movement to put an end to the “archaic” switching of the clocks and remain on Daylight Saving Time, or Pacific Standard Time, year-round.
Boundary-Similkameen Liberal MLA Linda Larson is spearheading the fight in the B.C. legislature.
WATCH: (Aired March 7, 2019) Daylight Saving Time debate starts again
For the third year in a row, she has tabled a private members’ bill to end the changing of the clocks. This year, the bill recommends keeping Daylight Saving Time year-round.
“We need to quit switching, we need to stay on Daylight Saving Time all year round, the one we are on right now, because that is the one that the majority of people want, and we have to really keep a close eye on the United States and make sure we line up with them,” Larson said in a phone interview with Global Okanagan on Sunday.
On a municipal level, she said the city of Grand Forks has twice tabled resolutions on the floor at UBCM to cease the practice of switching the clocks, and both times the motion passed.
“There is a huge amount of issues related to switching our clocks, whether it is forward or back, there is certainly health concerns. People have health issues related to switching the clocks, there is a huge spike in accidents when you do this, there is a loss of productivity and there is cost to industry,” Larson said.
LISTEN: (Starts at Chapter 3) MLA Linda Larson talks about her private members’ bill on CKNW’s Jill Bennett Show
Daylight Saving Time was first introduced over a century ago in order to conserve energy and save money. Larson calls the practice “archaic.”
“The switching that we’ve been doing started in 1918 to save coal after World War One, so it is quite archaic. The switching originally was to Daylight Saving Time so that there was more light in the evening so people wouldn’t burn coal but over time it has been the Daylight Saving Time that people prefer.”
Larson agrees with B.C. Premier John Horgan that British Columbia should remain in step with the West Coast to ensure a different time zone wouldn’t impact commerce and travel.
WATCH: (Aired Nov. 1, 2018) ‘I know it’s a passionate issue’: B.C. premier on elimination of daylight savings
Last week, Horgan sent letters to the governors in the states of Washington, Oregon, and California asking that his government be kept in the loop on any changes to the clocks.
“I think we can act in unison, the four jurisdictions, and make the argument we can stay in Daylight Saving Time or Pacific Standard Time and then do it together,” Horgan said.
The Washington House passed a measure Saturday to observe Daylight Saving Time year-round — if Congress allows it.
At least 26 states are considering legislation related to the practice of changing clocks twice a year, including the three West Coast states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Back in B.C., Larson said it’s rare for a government to pick up a bill tabled by an opposition member, but she remains optimistic.
The NDP government has until the end of the legislative session in May to make a decision, or it falls off the table once again.
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