Daylight Saving Time, How Close Are We To Ending The Biannual Time Change?
Are you fed up with the endless "springing forward" or "falling back" we have to endure twice a year? If the answer is yes, you're not alone.
For over one hundred years, on and off, Canadians have been rolling their clocks forward an hour, then back an hour, all the while suffering the consequences.
The idea of adjusting our timepieces so daylight appears to last later was first proposed by an entomologist, a guy who studies bugs, from New Zealand.
In 1895, George Hudson wanted more time after his day job to collect insects.
His original idea was for a two-hour time change.
Hudson's suggested change to our clocks didn't fly at first, in fact, the idea sat on the back burner for a few decades.
The idea resurfaced during WWI. Germany, looking for ways to stretch resources, figured the population at large would use less hydrocarbon-produced (coal) electricity for lights if it stayed light later, at least according to clocks.
Soon after Germany put the idea into practice almost every
other warring country followed suit, including Canada.
Canada ended daylight saving time in 1918, with the conclusion of the "War to end all Wars".
Germany may have been the first country to implement daylight saving time, but the first town in the world that adopted the practice was in Canada
Did you know a Canadian town in Ontario beat the Germans and the rest of the world to the time-shifting punch?
Almost a decade before the Germans, Port Arthur, Ontario, was the first city in the world to adopt daylight saving time in 1908.
Once Port Arthur, Ontario, now known as Thunder Bay implemented daylight saving time, other Canadian cities followed.
When WW2 began daylight saving time was adopted nationwide once again. Back then DST was in place all year long, not just March to November.
Does daylight saving time save energy? The debate continues.
Another topic of debate, does losing an hour of sleep and returning to standard time increase injuries or health issues.
Yes, it does, according to an article published in the National Library of Medicine. The effects of losing an hour of sleep in the days following a time change include:
- elevated risk for heart attacks and strokes
- mental and behavioral disorders
- fatal traffic accidents up
- increase in the workplace and other injuries
"Risk risk elevations are modest and challenged but, we estimate that each spring DST shift is associated with negative health effects affecting 880,000 persons globally".
The article's author appears confident, messing with the body’s biological clock has consequences.
There is overwhelming support for ending the practice and sticking with one time model for the entire year. That said, most people want daylight saving time permanently.
More than 93% of British Columbians would prefer a permanent daylight saving time
Governments have promised to end the merry-go-round. Back in 2019, Premiere John Horgan sent a survey to British Columbians.
Is it time to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in BC
More than 93% of the record 223,273 British Columbians who completed the Province’s survey on time observance have indicated they would prefer a move to permanent daylight saving time (DST).
“The people of British Columbia have spoken and their collective voice has come through loudly and clearly,” said Premier John Horgan. “This engagement has done exactly as we hoped it would in providing clarity about a preferred direction. The insights generated will be relied upon as we make a final decision about how to move forward.”
November 6, 2022, daylight saving time ends, March 13, 2023 daylight saving time begins
The result wasn't surprising at all. Turns out though, despite 93% of respondents "voting" for permanent DST, the Province isn't going it alone.
Daylight saving time is by far the most popular with people. Moving back to standard time and losing an hour is the least liked.
BC is going to wait for California, Oregon and Washington states to make the decision to adopt daylight saving time 12 months a year.
Around the same time as Horgan's survey, Californians were asked a similar question. Prop 7 gave state lawmakers the power to pass legislation making daylight saving time permanent.
A month later a bill was introduced to the California assembly to enable the change but the bill didn't pass.
If it had passed it would still have needed approval from Washington DC.
In 2022 the US senate unanimously approved the sunshine protection act that would make daylight saving time permanent.
Now the bill has to be passed by the US House of Representatives. If they ever get around to voting on the bill and it passes it would then go to President Biden for signing.
Isn't it a shame that back in 1908 Canada wasn't afraid to go it alone when adopting daylight saving time? Maybe it's time to take a leadership role again.
Not All Of Canada Observes Daylight Saving Time
Alberta - Yes
BC's North Eastern portion - No
BC - yes
Manitoba - Yes
Newfoundland and Labrador - Yes
NWT - Yes
Nova Scotia Yes
Nunavut - Yes
Ontario's Northwestern portion - NO
Ontario - Yes
PEI - Yes
Quebec's Eastern portion - No
Quebec - Yes
Saskatchewan's East and West areas - No
Saskatchewan - Yes
Yukon - No
There are stories often repeated regarding the origin of daylight saving time.
- It's good for farmers cause they have more light to harvest. That is something of an urban myth. Farmers are more concerned with weather conditions like frost, dew, or rain, not what the arms of a clock may "say".
- Benjamin Franklin first proposed daylight saving time in 1784. Franklin wrote a satirical article suggesting waking up earlier in the summer would economize on candle usage. He also suggested church bells and canon fire at dawn to insure people woke early. The article was undoubtedly meant to be humorous.
The Romans had a different strategy. The hours in a day remained the same, it was the length of those hours that changed. They either increased or decreased depending on the season.