B.C. Premier David Eby pressured to stick with daylight time for good this weekend
B.C. passed legislation in 2019 to stick with one time but is still waiting on U.S.
It's been four years since the B.C. NDP passed legislation that would make daylight time permanent across the province, and as residents get ready to change their clocks on Saturday night, the provincial opposition is calling on Premier David Eby to deliver on the change now.
"Despite all the talk and big promises from the premier, families are in for another crude and rude awakening this Sunday," said Opposition House Leader Todd Stone, the B.C. Liberal MLA for Kamloop-South Thompson on Thursday during Question Period.
"It's that least wonderful time yet again when we all lose one hour of precious sleep yet again because the premier couldn't get the job done."
B.C. passed legislation in 2019 that would make daylight time permanent across the province but said it would only be enacted once Washington state, Oregon and California do the same in order to keep the provincial economy aligned with its U.S. neighbours.
That appeared set for the end of 2023, when the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to make daylight time permanent across that country starting in November 2023, but the bill failed when the U.S. House of Representatives couldn't agree on whether to keep standard or daylight time.
On Wednesday at the legislature, Eby was asked about the delay in ending the annual clock change, but he didn't stray from the response his predecessor John Horgan had made since 2019.
"In terms of our provincial approach, it hasn't changed," said Eby. "I think all of us will be delighted to see the back end of daylight time, but at the same time, we want to make sure we are aligned with major trading partners.
WATCH | B.C. Premier David Eby explains why a permanent move to daylight time is on hold:
On Thursday, government House leader Ravi Kahlon, the MLA for Delta North, responded to Stone, saying the delay was not lost on the government, but B.C. would not go it alone without co-ordinating with states such as California.
"We know this is an important issue for many families," said Kahlon. "We want to make sure this gets done right.
"We're certainly hoping that California, which is in the process of going this direction goes in that direction so we can all move collectively."
Last week, a group of 12 U.S. senators reintroduced legislation that would make daylight time permanent, hoping lawmakers would finally recognize that changing clocks was outdated and unpopular among most people.
Add 1 hour to clocks Saturday night
Daylight time, which moves the clocks forward an hour, resumes on March 12 in most of B.C. and lasts until Nov. 5, when the clocks fall back an hour.
Daylight time makes for brighter evenings and darker mornings.
When B.C. introduced its legislation to stay on daylight time in 2019, university researchers in the province wrote an open letter to the province to reconsider staying on standard time instead. They said staying on daylight time would make it more difficult to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning, leaving residents under-rested.
Yukon stopped observing a time change in November 2020 after the majority of residents who responded to a government survey voted in favour of permanent daylight time.
B.C.'s Peace Region and the Kootenay town of Creston have never changed clocks for daylight time. B.C.'s East Kootenay is currently aligned with the time in Alberta.
With files from Meera Bains, Rhianna Schmunk and Reuters