An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT’S survey on Daylight Saving Time is online and I recommend you fill it out — it takes only a few minutes to read the background and answer the questions.
The backgrounders explain that studies on the effects of the annual spring switch to DST and the fall switch back to Standard Time are inconclusive. Some suggest there are more traffic accidents the day after the clock turns forward.
Some indicate heart attacks and electricity bills increase and sleep is disrupted. But others show no such impacts, so the jury is out. All the arguments and claims being made about the supposed effects of the time change come down to nothing.
What we’re left with is to decide based solely on whether we personally like the time change or not. (The choice, by the way, is between the status quo and keeping DST year-round, not eliminating DST.)
The survey has limitations — it provides only a cursory opportunity to explain why we like or dislike the time change. And it’s curious to me why it asks if the respondent is Indigenous. Maybe there’s a logical reason for that and, if so, I’d be interested in the explanation.
But I’m most perplexed by the focus on what our neighbours are doing. California, Washington and Oregon are considering whether or not to do away with Standard Time and convert to Daylight Saving Time year-round. This is central to the survey and, apparently, to Premier John Horgan’s thinking.
Why should it matter what those states to our south do, or what Alberta does?
Canada is already a hodge podge of time zones. Even B.C. isn’t totally consistent in which time it uses.
So let’s make our own decision.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.