About time: Alberta's youngest MLA to table bill aimed at ending daylight saving time
'Do we want to stay on Mountain Standard Time all year, do we want to go to Mountain Daylight time?'
A young MLA is the second legislator who doesn't want the clocks to change in Alberta.
Thomas Dang, who represents Edmonton-South West, plans to table a bill to repeal daylight saving time just days after PC MLA Richard Starke presented a petition calling for the same thing.
The NDP backbencher didn't say whether he'd prefer to spring forward or fall back when he spoke with the Calgary Eyeopener on Friday morning.
Here is an edited version of their conversation.
Cat's out of the bag
Q: You're not a fan of daylight saving time?
I think not a lot of people are in this province. As MLAs, twice a year we receive hundreds of emails. I think it's one of those things that Albertans want and it's abundantly clear to me.
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Q: How does your bill compare with Richard Starke's petition?
The bill isn't set in stone yet. I want to do a lot more extensive consultation. I've been reaching out to stakeholder groups and parents and families over the last six months or so but now that the cat's out of the bag I think we need to do some consultation and see which way do people want to go. Do we want to stay on Mountain Standard Time all year, do we want to go to Mountain Daylight time?
Q: What does it mean to talk to stakeholder groups when it comes to daylight saving time?
Daylight saving time affects every single Albertan twice. Who it really affects adversely is parents of young families. If your child is waking up at 6 a.m. instead of 7 a.m., that's a huge deal for you. We see similar things with agricultural partners who have problems with feeding or milking their animals.
Spring forward or fall back?
Q: What do you think about the other way around? Perhaps you've got this backward!
Absolutely, and that's definitely one thing I want to talk to Albertans about over the next few months. I know most Albertans want us to get off of the change. I know they want us to keep one time all year round. I have a feeling that most people are ambivalent to which one, until we hear from more Albertans we'll have to wait and see.
Q: Do you have a position one way or the other?
The big question for me is, in the winter do I want to drive to work in the sun or drive home in the sun? It depends on if you are a morning person or an evening person.
Q: You've realized the box you have opened with this. People will talk to you endlessly about this?
I received 200 emails and 90 per cent were very clear they supported getting rid of daylight saving time.
Q: At just 21 years old, and as the youngest MLA in Alberta, what makes you think you can bring fresh new eyes to this longstanding debate in this province?
You're right. It's been debated since 1972 or so. But when we are talking about something that really comes from World War I and II, it's a really dated practise. It's common sense that we have to look at it again and make changes and make sure that we are in line with what's best for Albertans.
Did you know?
There is only one time zone for the entire country of China — the third largest country on earth. The country uses Beijing Standard Time.
During the winter the sun doesn't rise until 10 in the morning in some parts of the country.
With files from the Calgary Eyeopener