British Columbia

B.C.'s daylight saving survey gets more public engagement than marijuana regulation

Clocks — and what time they are set to — are a hot topic in B.C., garnering more public engagement than other controversial topics like cannabis regulation.

The province is considering whether to continue observing daylight time

The online survey is open until July 19. The province expects to make a decision by the fall. (Elisa Amendola/Associated Press)

Clocks — and what time they are set to — are a hot topic in B.C., garnering more public engagement than other controversial topics like cannabis regulation. 

The province is considering adopting daylight time year round and has launched an online survey seeking feedback.

"It's clear there is no shortage of views on how we should observe time in British Columbia," Premier John Horgan said in a statement. 

The provincial survey attracted more than 158,000 responses in the first week it was launched. 

By comparison, that's about eight times more than the number of people who responded to a similar survey about weed regulation in about the same amount of time.  

The province is also asking for written submissions about how the time changes impact industries like agriculture and transportation.

B.C. held a public consultation on daylight time in 2007 and received more than 4,000 responses. 

At the time, 92 per cent of respondents were in favour of changing how B.C. observes daylight time, as long as it aligns with similar changes in other Canadian provinces and U.S. states.

Not just a B.C. question

Currently, most parts of B.C. turn their clocks forward an hour in March and then back an hour in November. 

The practice was implemented in Canada in 1915 as part of the war effort to reduce coal consumption and extend daylight hours for factory work, according to the B.C. government. 

If daylight time is kept year-round — that is no clock changes — sunrise would be later in the winter. 

That means it could stay dark until as late as 9 a.m. in Vancouver or 9:30 a.m. in northern communities like Prince George. 

British Columbians are not the only ones debating time-keeping: Alberta voted to keep the bi-annual clock change in 2017.

However, several U.S. states, including California, Oregon and Washington, are currently looking at changing their legislation to get rid of it.  

B.C.'s online survey is open until July 19. The province expects to make a decision by the fall. 

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