w-clock-584-000008334305

Since 2007, most jurisdictions in Canada and the U.S. have been moving their clocks ahead by one hour on the second Sunday in March and back by one hour on the first Sunday in November. ((iStock))

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall appears to be falling back on his promise to let voters decide on whether the province should adopt daylight time.

Wall promised to hold a provincewide referendum on the controversial topic at the same time as the next provincial election, scheduled for Nov. 7, 2011.

Under The Time Act (1966) Saskatchewan (except for Lloydminster) has never adopted daylight time, sharing the same (Mountain) time as Alberta in summer and the same (Central) time as Manitoba in winter.

But Wall told CBC News he is no longer sure a referendum is needed, maybe just a government-sponsored opinion poll. "I think specifically we need to determine how many don't want to change, period, to either time. And if that number is in that 55 to 60 per cent range as we see in poll after poll then is there really a need to go to a referendum?

"I still don't see a desire for change," he said, adding public opinion polls at one time suggested Saskatchewan residents were almost equally divided on the issue of whether the province should adopt daylight time.

Wall said a majority of Saskatchewan residents appear to lean toward the idea of maintaining standard time, year round.

'I'm just not sure a general election is the time to load up the ballot frankly with a lot of other questions.'—Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall

The premier mused it might be worth having a substantial government poll to see how people feel about adopting daylight time.

"Really, one question, one issue and a large, large sample," he said, noting that if a poll showed people disinterested in springing forward and falling back, it may not be worth it to hold a referendum.

He said his worry is that a referendum ballot on the issue might complicate things at election time. "I'm just not sure a general election is the time to load up the ballot frankly with a lot of other questions; it's important choices people have to make."

Wall said whatever he decides, it is not a decision he'll take lightly since he did promise a referendum.

He said a good time to conduct an opinion poll might be in mid-March when people in the rest of the country are getting ready to spring forward with their clocks.