Right idea, wrong choice of time to make permanent

As B.C. prepares to eliminate time change, Thom argues standard time should be made permanent

We should not have sprung ahead on Sunday.

Last year, the B.C. government surveyed the population of the province on whether or not we should discontinue changing our clocks twice a year.

The response was overwhelming with 93 per cent of the 223,000 respondents agreeing B.C. should shift to permanent daylight time (DT).

Of those in favour 75 per cent cited health and wellness concerns as their primary reason. Studies have shown an increase in accidents and heart attacks following time changes.

The legislature acted quickly, passing a bill to give itself the power to end the practice.

Last week, Yukon announced when residents there move from standard to daylight time in the wee hours of March 8, it will be the last time they do so.

Washington, Oregon and California and Florida are poised to do the same pending federal approval.

It raises a serious question, though, why are North American politicians so hung up on daylight time?

The B.C. government cited remaining in sync with Yukon and the west coast states for its daylight time preference.

Unfortunately, the survey did not give people the option of shifting to permanent standard time.

Either way, adopting a year-round time is the right thing to do, but it is equally important to pick the right time to be on.

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The effect of springing forward is more light in the evening when what we really need is more light in the morning.

Research indicates waking up in the dark is tough on humans and related to a higher rates of cancer and other health risks.

Of course, for most of us in the North, waking up in the dark for at least some portion of the year is unavoidable, but science supports standard time over daylight time.

In fact, the U.S-based Society for Research on Biological Rhythms and the European Biological Rhythms Society, the two largest organizations in the world studying the subject, have issued statements urging governments to adopt standard time.

The European Union, unlike our North American jurisdictions, got it right voting last year to switch to permanent standard time.

Sticking with Yukon and our west coast American counterparts is not a good enough reason to adopt permanent daylight time. British Columbia should be taking a leadership role and eliminating daylight time.

Since we’ve already changed the clocks for this summer, the last time we do so should be in October when we fall back.



editor@interior-news.com

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