It’s time for British Columbians to speak up about the future of time.
The B.C. government has launched public consultation on how “time should be observed in B.C.” The online survey asks British Columbians whether they want change the clocks twice a year or keep the clocks consistent all year round.
“As our neighbours in the western United States move toward permanent daylight saving time, it’s a good time to think about what will work best for British Columbia,” Premier John Horgan said.
“I invite people to consider our options and take part in an online survey that will help us decide whether to leave things as they are or if it’s time to make a change.”
Horgan has been grappling with issue since taking office nearly two years ago. At one point. Horgan got more emails about the issue than anything else.
Most areas of B.C. move the clocks forward in the summer months and back to standard time in the winter. But there are areas in the province that do not change the clocks.
The online survey will be available from June 24, 2019, to July 19, 2019.
“I know many people will have strong preferences on this complex question, and this is an opportunity to express them and help government decide our next steps,” Horgan said. “As we monitor what’s happening in other jurisdictions, I look forward to input from British Columbians on how to set our clocks throughout the year.”
Earlier this year Horgan sent a letter to governors in the states of Washington, Oregon and California asking to be kept in the loop on their plans regarding no longer changing the clocks twice a year. The jurisdictions have now chosen to stick with year-round Daylight Saving Time.
Horgan says there are too many economic and social ties that prevent British Columbia from going ahead with the switch without the other coastal jurisdictions. California voted overwhelmingly to look at sticking with Daylight Saving Time year-round.
BC Liberal MLA Linda Larson has introduced a private member’s bill that would establish a new time zone for the coast, Pacific Daylight Standard Time Zone. Larson says she has done extensive research on keeping the clocks consistent and has found that moving them twice a year has negative health impacts, leads to more crashes on the road and can be a nightmare for parents with young children.
“I hope that when we move our clocks, our weekend, we never have to turn them back,” Larson said in March when B.C. last switched the clocks. “I would love to see us on the same time zone as the rest of British Columbia. The northeast and the southeast are already on Daylight Saving Time.”
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U.S. President Donald Trump suggested in March that he would be open to permanently keeping Daylight Saving Time. A switch of the clocks in the United States requires congressional approval.
A popularly cited study relating to traffic accidents and their link to Daylight Saving Time was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1996.
The research, based on data from 1991 and 1992, suggested that traffic incidents rose by eight per cent on the Monday after the clock turned forward, and fell by roughly the same amount on the Monday following the switch back.
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One review conducted by a physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto looked at 16 traffic studies, where six studies indicated an increased risk of crashes after the spring time change, three indicated a decreased risk and seven found no significant difference either way.
A study published in 2008 in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is popularly cited as showing that heart attack cases increased by five per cent in the week after clocks were adjusted both in the spring and autumn. But other research has produced conflicting results.
German researchers, who looked at 25,000 cases of fatal and non-fatal heart attacks recorded in Germany between 1995 and 2010 found no significant change in heart attacks in the general population only an increased risk among specific subgroups such as men who had previously experienced heart attacks.
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