Cross Country Checkup

Do we really need Daylight Saving Time?

Daylight Saving Time turns 100 this year. It's been a controversial solution to a debatable problem...just ask Saskatchewan. Is it an idea whose time has expired? Do we really need to change the clocks? With guest host Susan McReynolds.
Two six-foot-tall clocks, built for the Florida hospital, are tested prior to shipment at the Electric Time Company in Medfield, Mass. (The Associated Press / Charles Krupa)

Daylight Saving Time turns 100 this year. It's been a controversial solution to a debatable problem ...just ask Saskatchewan. Is it an idea whose time has expired? Do we really need to change the clocks?

Cross Country Checkup guest host Susan McReynolds shows off her Canada mittens. (CBC)
Today, most Canadians went through our semi-annual ritual of changing of the clocks and this time we are a little more bleary-eyed because of it. Faithfully, for the past 100 years, most of Canada springs forward and then falls back.

Saskatchewanians did not change their clocks -- standing firm against the march of time ...but by default they effectively leaped right into another time zone. They were on Central Standard Time and they are still on Central Standard Time ...but before, they were aligned with Manitoba, and now they are cosying up to Alberta in a temporal sense.

There have been complaints and there have been studies into this phenomenon. In 2007, the dates were changed to expand daylight saving time into March and November, but many are still not precisely sure why we do it.  Does it have something to do with when the kids go to school, or when we turn the lights or the heat on, or when we milk the cows? Surveys suggest people are divided on the whole matter. 

People in California are tired of changing, while many people in Saskatchewan are tired of not changing...so, they both want to change.

Our question today: "Do we really need to switch to Daylight Saving Time?"

GUESTS

Janice MacKinnon
Historian at University of Saskatchewan, the provinces that refuses to follow the herd

Stanley Coren
UBC Professor emeritus of psychology and author of "Sleep Thieves: An eye-opening exploration into the science and mysteries of sleep"
Twitter: @StanleyCoren

Bill Streeper
Mayor of Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (Fort Nelson), BC where they recently went off DST
Twitter: @BillStreeper

Dr. David Prerau
Early researcher on DST effects on energy use, author of "Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time"

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