Many Canadians will once again “spring forward” into temporary Daylight Saving Time this month, but some high-profile efforts will not be enough to save people from yet another confusing change later this year.
The twice-a-year flip-flop moved closer to its demise last year after provincial governments in Ontario and British Columbia pledged to simply make Daylight Saving Time permanent, and after Quebec and New Brunswick hinted at doing the same. Despite all of that, the changeover will proceed as normal on Sunday, March 14, because those provinces are waiting for each other and their nearby states to do it all at once.
California is still moving into and out of Daylight Saving Time, and that means B.C. is, too. The same goes for Ontario and Quebec, which are waiting on each other and New York state to make the switch.
The time change will go into effect early on Sunday for all regions that follow it — including those that would rather not. Daylight Saving Time will start at 2 a.m., causing the clocks to jump ahead by one hour in affected zones.
The change will make it feel darker earlier and brighter later in the day.
It will also make March 14 the shortest day of the year for those affected, with only 23 hours in the day. That means you’ll lose an hour of sleep if you have a scheduled wake-up time on Sunday.
Fixed schedule or not, people in affected areas will probably feel a bit disoriented for a few days as they adjust to the new sunlight hours.
You can expect to get the missing hour back later in the year, when Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, Nov. 7.
The change affects most parts of Canada, with some exceptions. Some less populated regions of B.C. will ignore the switch, along with a few communities in Ontario and Quebec.
Saskatchewan is a different case altogether. The province is technically within the Mountain timezone but it follows Central Standard Time, which puts it one hour ahead of Mountain Standard Time. It remains on Central Standard Time all year, despite the common perception that it’s on permanent Mountain Daylight Time.
People in Yukon will not be touching their clocks because they’re already in Daylight Saving Time, after opting to make the change permanent last year.
Daylight Saving Time has been used in most of Canada for more than a century, and Canadians have been questioning its value for nearly as long. The practice was originally introduced as a wartime energy-saving measure, although debate has raged for years over whether it does more harm than good because of sleep-related mistakes and accidents. It’s also not clear whether it saves any energy at all.
Thirteen U.S. states have passed bills to permanently adopt Daylight Saving Time, but none of them have actually made the change to date.
There appears to be no end in sight for the logjam in 2021, meaning you can expect to change the clocks — and complain about it — once again next November.