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Malcolm

Daylight Saving Time

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Not often I see something from the EU that I agree with but hopefully Canada will follow their lead this time.

 

Slowing time? EU wants to delay clock change move to 2021
1 Min Read

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A committee at the European Parliament on Monday gave the thumbs up to scrapping the twice-yearly clock change in the European Union but with a two-year delay to 2021.

Last year, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker kicked off the debate with his proposal to halt the decades-old practice of daylight savings time in 2019, garnering support from about 3.8 million Europeans.
About 4.6 million EU citizens - out of 510 million - took part in the Commission’s online survey. Of those, 84 percent were against putting clocks forward in spring and back in autumn every year.

A majority of lawmakers on the European Parliament’s transport and tourism committee backed the Commission’s proposal.
The plenary will now have to approve the proposal after which lawmakers will have to thrash out a common position with EU countries.

Currently, EU countries switch to summer time on the last Sunday of March and back to standard time on the last Sunday of October.

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Daylight Saving Time doesn't work, it depresses us and it was invented by our enemies: Nine reasons to hate it

Daylight saving time starts Sunday, March 11. Why does this monstrous burden continue

 

This is a re-post of an article published in 2016. We will continue to post it every clock change until Canadians are finally liberated from this government-imposed temporal scourge.

Daylight saving time starts on Sunday, Mar 11, and clocks will spring forward one hour at 2 a.m. Once again, approximately 34 million Canadians will lose an hour of sleep in the service of the grand national experiment.

First introduced to Canada 100 years ago as a way to save coal, the project is now an annual eight-month ritual tolerated purely due to the belief that it’s good for us. In March, we skip our clocks ahead one hour to inject more sunlight into the evenings. Then, in November, we switch them back to “standard time.”

But if government-mandated clock shifts annoy you, you’re not alone. A hefty body of scientific research is backing up the theory that this whole clock-switching thing might be a literal waste of time.

It’s probably not saving any energy

You might recognize this as the entire reason Canada jumped on the daylight saving time train in the first place. But no less than the National Research Council of Canada did a comprehensive review of the scientific literature in 2008 to find out if daylight saving time really was saving energy for Canadians. Their conclusion was that we don’t really know. “There is general consensus that DST does contribute to an evening reduction in peak demand for electricity, though this may be offset by an increase in the morning,” read the report. And the NRC is pretty charitable on this point. The U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research, by contrast, also released a study on daylight saving in 2008. After analyzing the energy consumption habits of seven million households in Indiana, the bureau stoically concluded that despite its intended purpose, daylight saving time was actually wasting energy. Lights were indeed being turned on later — but heaters and air conditioners were also kept on longer.

It makes us less productive
Most studies on daylight saving time merely crunch the raw numbers: How much fuel saved, etc. But it was a 2015 paper out of Germany’s University of Erlangen-Nuremberg that delved into German and British data to measure daylight saving time’s effect on “life satisfaction.” One thing that popped out to researchers was that both Germans and Brits experienced “non-negligible losses of utility” after losing an hour of sleep for the spring changeover. Worse still, productivity was unaffected when workers are given an extra hour of sleep eight months later. Or, as researchers wrote, “we do not find evidence of utility gains when the clocks move back in autumn.”

It makes us putz around on the Internet
Humans aren’t good with impulse control when they’re tired. It’s why a 2012 study out of Penn State found a daylight saving time increase in “cyberloafing” (screwing around with personal things on the Internet instead of working) after people are forced to wake up an hour earlier for the “spring ahead” change to daylight saving time in March. By analyzing Google data and experimenting on sleep-deprived volunteers, researchers found that for every lost hour of sleep, U.S. workers were inclined to spend an extra 8.4 minutes cyberloafing. As a news site that sees much of its traffic occurring during working hours, however, the National Post can’t necessarily condemn this behaviour.It depresses us
The cold and darkness of a Canadian winter is depressing in any case. But the effect of daylight saving time is to take a slow darkening process and transform it into a violent one-day plunge. A Danish-American research team published a study showing that the rate of diagnosed depression cases shows a marked uptick in the weeks after the “fall back” clock change. The data, obtained by analyzing 185,419 depression diagnoses in Denmark’s Central Psychiatric Research Register, found that depression cases spiked by as much as eight per cent in early November. “We are relatively certain that it is the transition from daylight saving time to standard time that causes the increase in the number of depression diagnoses and not, for example, the change in the length of the day or bad weather,” said researcher Søren D. Østergaard.

It kills us
Scientists have long suspected that the “spring forward” changeover resulted in more fatal road crashes. Basically, if you force the entire country to lose an hour of sleep, it follows that more cars than usual are going to be skidding into highway barriers. But oddly, the fall changeover also manages to kill people. In a 2001 paper in the Journal of Sleep Medicine, researchers analyzed 21 years of U.S. collision data and found a 10-per cent-increase in fatal crashes around the “fall back” change. Researchers chalked this up to “behavioural responses to forced circadian changes.” Basically, scientists theorized that people are staying out extra late on the night before the clock change, resulting in highways full of extra-tired drivers.

It maims us
While their cubicle-dwelling equivalents cyberloaf every spring, blue-collar workers need to deal with mines and construction sites jammed with ill-rested labourers. The inevitable result is a temporary rash of workplace injuries that wouldn’t have otherwise happened. A 2009 paper in the Journal of the American Psychological Association found that, in the United States, an average of 2,649 days of work were lost every year due to injuries sustained because of daylight saving time-induced fatigue. Just as with workplace productivity, however, the reverse is not true. The same study found that the “number and severity of workplace injuries” was virtually untouched by giving workers an extra hour of sleep in November.

It may be the one thing where Saskatchewan is right
Canada’s strength as a nation comes from a general willingness to steer clear of whatever sick, twisted pursuits Saskatchewan is up to. But with daylight saving time, it is the one issue in which we are forced to bow our heads to the wisdom of the Wheat Province. Since 1966, Saskatchewan has effectively lived in a perpetual state of daylight saving time. Despite the province being in the Mountain Time Zone, 1.1 million Saskatchewanians synchronize their clocks with Central Standard Time, the time zone located just to the east. Doctors are generally in agreement that it’s good to give people extra sunlight in the summer: more exercising, more socializing. But it’s the clock changes of daylight saving time that screw everyone up. Those canny Saskatchewanians, however, get the best of both worlds: More daylight in the summer, no depression-inducing time change in the fall. This strategy has also been taken up by a chunk of Northern B.C. that simply stays on Alberta time all year. 

Dave Olecko/ Bloomberg News.

Most of the world doesn’t do it
Daylight saving time applies to only about 1.6 billion people worldwide, which means that 79 per cent of the world’s population is spared the annoyance of synchronizing their watches twice a year. Of course, part of this is due to most of humanity concentrating near the equator, where daylight shifts aren’t nearly as dramatic. Tellingly, many countries — India, South Africa and the Philippines among them — used to practice daylight saving time before determining that it wasn’t worth the trouble. China, for one, ditched daylight saving time in 1992. Now, to keep everything simple, the whole country (which would normally span three to four time zones) simply sets its watch to Beijing time. 

It was invented by our enemies
Just like income tax, daylight saving time was originally introduced as a temporary measure during the First World War. In 1915, Imperial Germany began jimmying its clocks around in order to better fit the working day within available daylight hours — and presumably save the energy that would otherwise be used to light factories at night. Once word of the measure got out, Britain and its empire quickly followed suit just in case daylight saving was giving their Teutonic enemies a strategic advantage. Daylight saving time, thus, is a lot like poison gas and aerial bombardment of cities: An ante-upping escalation introduced only because the Germans did it first.Where the time change doesn’t apply: Saskatchewan (except Denare Beach and Creighton), the northeastern corner of B.C., the town of Creston in B.C.’s East Kootenays, three northwestern Ontario communities (Pickle Lake, New Osnaburgh and Atikokan), the eastern reaches of Quebec’s North Shore, and Southampton Island in Nunavut.

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3 hours ago, Malcolm said:

It may be the one thing where Saskatchewan is right
 

Sorry, gotta disagree - Saskatchewan is right about almost everything!

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One thing is absolutely for sure: twice a year, the airlines can't get it right. Schedules are screwed up, crew rest times are screwed up, passengers missing their flight or showing up early (the better of the two options) rank in the tens of thousands.

It also affects northern latitudes (> or < 45) more than central latitudes.

Hard to justify in this day and age...

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only the government would cut 2 inches off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom and tell you that you now have a longer blanket.  Stop the madness.

 

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Maybe it's me, but every year I look forward to the beginning of daylight savings time. Although I'm retired now, I used to look forward to that extra hour of daylight and relished every minute of it after work. I still count the days until it arrives.

If a one hour time zone change is too much for you, I say,  "please stay in your safe space."

Edited by Wolfhunter

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I'm all for it as long as we stay on DST, I like the extra hour of light in the afternoon not the morning.

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3 hours ago, Wolfhunter said:

Maybe it's me, but every year I look forward to the beginning of daylight savings time. Although I'm retired now, I used to look forward to that extra hour of daylight and relished every minute of it after work. I still count the days until it arrives.

If a one hour time zone change is too much for you, I say,  "please stay in your safe space."

It's not an extra hour of daylight, it is just an adjustment in perception …..   The number of daylight hours is the same, no matter what the clock says.

Quote
What is the definition of daylight hours?
Daylight is the combination of all direct and indirect sunlight during the daytime. ... Daytime is the period of time each day when daylight occurs. Daylight happens as Earth rotates, and either side on which the Sun shines is considered daylight

 

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20 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

It's not an extra hour of daylight, it is just an adjustment in perception …..   The number of daylight hours is the same, no matter what the clock says.

Quote

Yup, a day is 24 hours and it doesn't matter unless you are working until 2000 every day.... only then does that beer on the floating dock (as the sun sets) count as a fond memory of what summer is all about (a thing of value is only of value if it's something you can use). My previous boss was unmoved by these perceptions too. In contrast though, he kept a close eye on the clock; it seems I would rather work for you... 

As a side bar, has this site suddenly gone Democratic and AOC.... I had to pick out bridges etc to prove I'm not a bot and it took two attempts... bot bot bot bot bot

Edited by Wolfhunter

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17 hours ago, Wolfhunter said:

Maybe it's me, but every year I look forward to the beginning of daylight savings time. Although I'm retired now, I used to look forward to that extra hour of daylight and relished every minute of it after work. I still count the days until it arrives.

If a one hour time zone change is too much for you, I say,  "please stay in your safe space."

What extra hour?  brainwashed?

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I have the advantage of starting my day on my schedule.  I just start it an hour early in the summer because, on the bike, for some reason it takes me 4 hours to get home

 

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Now that I'm retired, your point is well taken, in truth it doesn't matter much anymore, maybe it does to those who aren't retired.... I'm not sure. It certainly used to though. To me, it was a bit like having the weekend off when my kids were in school. 

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March 7, 2019 5:00 am

Daylight Saving Time 2019 starts this weekend: What you need to know

leslie-young-headshot.jpg?quality=60&str By Leslie Young Senior National Online Journalist, Health  Global News
 

Daylight Saving Time starts again this weekend, as most of Canada springs forward for 2019.

The time change happens Sunday at 2 a.m., when clocks move forward by one hour. So when you get up Sunday morning, make sure your clocks are changed.

Related

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Not all of Canada observes Daylight Saving Time though – notably most of Saskatchewan, Fort Nelson, Creston and the Peace River Regional District in B.C., don’t change their clocks. A few towns in Ontario and Quebec’s north shore also don’t do Daylight Saving.

Neither do most African and Asian countries, and the European Union is considering abandoning the practice by 2021 – with legislators likely voting on the proposal by the end of March.

Daylight Saving Time was first introduced over a century ago in order to conserve energy and save money, according to David Prerau, author of Seize the Daylight, a book that examines the history of the time change. Germany was the first country to implement it as a way to cut back on fuel costs during the First World War.

But Thunder Bay, Ont., was the first city to change its clocks – way back in 1908.

READ MORE: 9 things you didn’t know about DST around the world

There’s not much evidence to suggest that Daylight Saving Time actually saves energy today though. Studies disagree on whether or not the time change saves money – often suggesting only a tiny advantage.

So is it worth it?

“From a purely health perspective, we’re probably better off not having these shifts,” said Dr. Andrew Lim, a neuroscientist and sleep researcher at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital.

Changing the time you wake up at affects your circadian clock – your internal biological rhythms, he said. This can have a whole host of effects on your system, including, according to one U.S. study, raising your risk of heart attack the Monday following the time change.

“People might be sleeping a little bit less putting the body under a bit of stress and that might result in a small increase in the incidence of heart attacks.”

“What happens is the shift in the biological clock actually lags a little bit,” he said. “It’s like a form of jet lag.”

Making the shift more gradual, rather than in a single day, might mitigate some of these effects, he said.

READ MORE: Should Daylight Saving Time go? Manitoba sleep expert thinks so

Daylight Saving Time also has economic consequences, said Lisa Kramer, professor of finance at the University of Toronto.

“Mondays are typically a rough day in stock markets,” she said. “We often see negative returns on Mondays in general but following Daylight Saving Time changes, we see even larger negative returns.”

Kramer’s research into markets in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Germany found that the dip in stock market returns on the Monday following Daylight Saving Time is two to five times larger than a typical Monday drop.

“On average, when you’re looking at the U.S., the single-day loss from this effect amounts to about $30 billion,” she said.

Moving away from Daylight Saving Time when many of our trading partners – notably the U.S. – are still using it is probably a bad idea though, she said. But if the EU and other countries abandon the practice, it could make even less sense to keep it.

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B.C. might say goodbye to changing clocks, says premier

B.C. Premier John Horgan says the province may join Washington, Oregon and California in eliminating seasonal time change.

B.C. considering joining three western U.S. states pursuing a similar proposal

Laura Sciarpelletti · CBC News · Posted: Mar 08, 2019 3:11 PM PT | Last Updated: 8 hours ago
 
hi-time-change-852-rtxcfs0.jpg
B.C. is considering following Washington, Oregon and California as those states pursue daylight time year round. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
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Changing clocks could be a thing of the past in B.C. as the province muses joining Washington, Oregon and California, which have proposed eliminating seasonal time changes.

Legislators from the three U.S. states recently proposed bills that would end the one-hour time changes from standard time to daylight time in spring, then back again in fall, sticking to one time setting year-round.

B.C. Premier John Horgan says he recently sent a letter to the three governors, requesting they share information on the proposed change. He says if B.C. is to either keep permanent daylight time or permanent Pacific standard time, it must be done in all four jurisdictions.

"We have too many economic ties ... too many social and cultural ties to have one jurisdiction or two being out of sync with the others," Horgan told reporters in Victoria on March 7. 

Horgan had previously said B.C. wouldn't lose the time change, citing those same ties. His comments Friday come just as British Columbians are preparing to set their clocks one hour ahead Sunday, March 10.

Why leave the clock alone?

Washington state Democratic Senator Sam Hunt recently signed onto supporting the state's bill in favour of year-round daylight time. He says it's been a topic of conversation in Washington state for years.

"We saw in studies there are more suicides around the time change. There's disruption of life," Hunt told Early Edition host Stephen Quinn. 

. On March 10, we spring forward into daylight time. In three U.S. states just south of us — there is a push to spring forward and stay there. (Valerie Gamache/CBC)

Several studies have found springing ahead comes with a slew of negative consequences, including decreased productivity and a spike in traffic accidents.

A 2014 study out of the University of Colorado found a 25-per-cent increase in the risk of heart attack the Monday after the start of daylight time.

It also noted a corresponding decrease in the risk of heart attack at the end of daylight time in the fall.

Hunt says the change would promote ease of movement between states and avoid schedule confusion in the travel, shipping and entertainment industries.

An act of Congress

B.C. can make the change without any involvement with the federal government, unlike U.S. states. 

If the legislation put forward by Washington, California and Oregon passes in each state and becomes law, it will take an act of U.S. Congress for the states to move to full year-round daylight time.

Hunt says if every state passes their bills, all western states should request federal approval together. 

"I think it would create some problems if California were in one time zone and Oregon and Washington were in another time zone. And maybe British Columbia could join us to do it all at once," said Hunt. 

 

The change would take at least two years to go into effect.

"Whatever we do, there'll be change involved, and it'll take some getting used to."

Currently, Saskatchewan is the only Canadian province without seasonal time changes

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How you protect your heart (and health) heading into Daylight Saving Time

You might be dreading putting your clock ahead this Sunday and plenty of research shows it's not without good reason. Several studies have found springing ahead comes with a slew of negative consequences, including decreased productivity and a spike in traffic accidents.

When our bodies are no longer in sync with the environment, 'it's hazardous to our health,' researcher says

Robin De Angelis · CBC News · Posted: Mar 09, 2019 9:00 AM ET | Last Updated: March 9
 
Daylight saving time starts on Sunday, but some research shows it may be time to end the practice of springing ahead for the good of our health. (Pixabay)

You're probably already dreading putting your clock ahead when daylight saving time starts this Sunday and plenty of research shows that's not without good reason.

Several studies have found springing ahead comes with a slew of negative consequences, including decreased productivity and a spike in traffic accidents.

A 2014 study out of the University of Colorado found a 25 per cent increase in the risk for heart attacks the Monday after daylight saving time starts.

It also noted a corresponding decrease in the risk for heart attacks at the end of daylight saving time in the fall.

Dr. Tami Martino, director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Investigations at the University of Guelph, said there can be negative effects anytime our bodies become out of sync with the environment.

That's because the circadian clock, the 24-hour cycle that's encoded in our DNA, is a fundamental part of our health.

The daily cycle

"Essentially every single cell in our body is connecting with just light. It's connecting our bodies to the outside universe, to the sun and the sky, and sort of syncing us with the environment," Martino said.

"Studies by our group and lots of others show that when that happens — we call that circadian dyssynchrony — or when we get light at the wrong time, it's hazardous to our health."

Everything from cortisol levels to blood sugar and metabolism is tied to the cycle of light and dark, Martino said.

Her research has also found patients recovering from heart attacks heal better when their day-night cycles aren't interrupted.

It's easy for the body to get out of sync, though.

"Maintaining normal sleep and circadian rhythms, not being on your phones, not getting the blue light from your computers at night would be one thing that would keep your body a little bit in sync in the first place, even before you add this added effect of daylight saving time on top," she said.

No more changing clocks?

The growing body of research on this issue has prompted places around the world to reconsider daylight saving time.

The European Commission put forward a proposal in 2018 to end the practice, and a private member's bill to eliminate daylight saving time in November 2019 is currently before the Manitoba legislature.

There are already some places in Canada that won't be setting their clocks ahead this Sunday. Saskatchewan is currently the only province where all municipalities don't observe daylight saving time.

In Ontario, there are three towns where the clocks stay the same year round.

Dennis Brown, the mayor on Atikokan, said there have been multiple attempts to get the northwestern Ontario township to adopt daylight saving time. So far, they haven't stuck.

"I know it's not perfect, because it does cause some confusion, you know for patient care at the hospital, administrative problems with outside visitors and that kind of thing," he said.

"But people, you know, the majority want it to stay the way it is."

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Putting aside any and all disagreement on the value of DST….  surely there is widespread agreement that having several municipalities on a different timezone than the timezone they are actually located in is a bit silly. Not only silly, it serves to undermine their own assertion that time changes generate confusion.

In addition, it raises a question for me…. since this is so simple that anyone capable of driving an automobile should be able to overcome the horror of it, has our country become ungovernable by virtue of underlying, obsessive indignation and lack of compliance with even the simplest of things that we had previously (and collectively) agreed to. 

Ask any farm boy how popular they feel when entering the pig barn on Sunday morning (following the spring ahead)…. then ask him if feeding half the barn on standard time and the other half on daylight time would make any of his charges happy or if it would more likely result in civil war. Really now, I don't care which one we choose but let's grow up and pick one eh?

If elected, I promise more forays into direct democracy.... this could easily go to plebiscite with the results binding. The majority should pick their poison and have the maturity to abide by the result.  

 

Edited by Wolfhunter

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1 hour ago, Wolfhunter said:

 

Putting aside any and all disagreement on the value of DST….  surely there is widespread agreement that having several municipalities on a different timezone than the timezone they are actually located in is a bit silly. Not only silly, it serves to undermine their own assertion that time changes generate confusion.

In addition, it raises a question for me…. since this is so simple that anyone capable of driving an automobile should be able to overcome the horror of it, has our country become ungovernable by virtue of underlying, obsessive indignation and lack of compliance with even the simplest of things that we had previously (and collectively) agreed to. 

Ask any farm boy how popular they feel when entering the pig barn on Sunday morning (following the spring ahead)…. then ask him if feeding half the barn on standard time and the other half on daylight time would make any of his charges happy or if it would more likely result in civil war. Really now, I don't care which one we choose but let's grow up and pick one eh?

If elected, I promise more forays into direct democracy.... this could easily go to plebiscite with the results binding. The majority should pick their poison and have the maturity to abide by the result.  

 

Ask any farm boy if the animals care about the time change and instead keep up to their normal schedule of up at daylight and bed at night fall.  😀

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51 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

Ask any farm boy if the animals care about the time change

Those on a schedule (feeding, milking etc) seem to care. Those who are retired don’t; sounds familiar eh?

Then again, if being king of the pasture and standing at stud is your retirement job, what's not to like.

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25 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

Those on a schedule (feeding, milking etc) seem to care. Those who are retired don’t; sounds familiar eh?

Then again, if being king of the pasture and standing at stud is your retirement job, what's not to like.

Yes indeed those on a schedule do care but they don't take kindly to attempts to change their schedule because of daylight savings time.  Lots of practical experience with that, raising cattle, chickens etc.  We made no attempt to change their schedule, we just adjusted ours …… 😀  Re being retired, I am surprised that the time change gives you more daylight time as all you have to do is change when you go to bed or get up , no matter what the clock says.

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23 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

I am surprised that the time change gives you more daylight time as all you have to do is change when you go to bed or get up , no matter what the clock says.

It's not for me actually, it's for family and friends who work but still want to go out to the lake, or the range etc, or do some of those summer activities that are daylight dependant after a work day... it gives them the extra hour. It's a bit like multi gender showers at the gym and a bunch of other things I appear, at fist glance to oppose, most of these things have no effect on me at all.

Since I don't actually care and it doesn't effect me one way or the other, I try to consider the effect it has on others. I sure liked having the extra hour of daylight after work... back when I actually worked. 

What would you say to the notion of a plebiscite on this sort of thing tied into the federal election cycle. It's not a leadership issue, just the preference of the majority and easy to do regardless of outcome.  

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I guess they could add  it to the fall vote.  But there is a wrinkle, evidently it is in the hands of the Provinces / Cities and not the Feds.

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March 11, 2019 9:58 am

Daylight Saving Time forever? Trump suggests a stop to changing the clocks

img_6786-e1496082127611.jpg?quality=60&s By Maham Abedi National Online Journalist, Breaking News  Global News
 

U.S. President Donald Trump suggested Monday that he would be open to permanently keeping Daylight Saving Time just a day after several states bumped their clocks forward one hour.

“Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!” Trump tweeted.

While Trump’s tweet didn’t mention whether he was planning to take any real action, there has been talk of getting rid of the biannual time change.

Earlier this month, Florida lawmakers introduced a bill that would do exactly that for the entire country.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Daylight Saving Time 2019

The Sunshine Protection Act was filed by Sen. Marco Rubio, who took the initiative a week after Florida’s legislature voted to make their state the nation’s first to adopt year-round Daylight Saving Time statewide — a change that can’t take effect unless Congress changes federal law.

Daylight Saving Time currently runs from March to November, forcing those in many western countries to set their clocks ahead one hour in the spring and then turn them back an hour in the fall.

Beyond the U.S., the European Union is considering abandoning the practice by 2021, with legislators likely voting on the proposal by the end of March.

In Canada, there have been conversations and several petitions calling for the time-changing practice to be abolished. But that hasn’t really resulted in any real action.

Canadian officials have indicated any time adjustments would be coordinated — or at least communicated — with our neighbours south of the border.

READ MORE: Time may soon be up on changing B.C.’s clocks for Daylight Saving Time

In fact, British Columbia Premier John Horgan recently sent a letter to governors in the states of Washington, Oregon and California asking to be kept in the loop about any possible changes.

The jurisdictions are looking at ways to stay on either Daylight Saving Time or Pacific Standard Time year-round.

Not all of Canada observes Daylight Saving Time though – notably most of Saskatchewan, Fort Nelson, Creston and the Peace River Regional District in B.C., don’t change their clocks. A few towns in Ontario and Quebec’s north shore also don’t do Daylight Saving.

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European MPs vote to end summer time clock changes

The proposal would give each member state a choice from 2021: either to keep the current summer time system or scrap the twice-yearly clock changes.

Ministers will also have a say on this.

Under an EU directive, all 28 states currently switch to summer time on the last Sunday of March and back to winter time on the last Sunday of October.

The European Commission - in charge of drafting EU legislation - made the proposal last year, after a public consultation which showed 84% of respondents wanting to scrap the biannual clock changes. There were 4.6 million replies in that consultation, 70% of which were from Germans.

 

But MEPs and the Commission stress that states must co-ordinate their choices, to minimise the risk of economic disruption from a patchwork of different time systems.

What are the pros and cons of summer time?

Daylight saving time (DST) has been compulsory in the EU since 2001, aimed at making the EU internal market work more smoothly and reducing energy costs.

Fewer time differences, it was argued, would facilitate cross-border trade and travel in the EU. The extra daylight hours in summer could reduce spending on artificial lighting and help outdoor leisure activities.

But the energy savings from DST have proven to be quite marginal. And some of the EU's major trading partners - among them China, Russia and Turkey - do not operate under DST.

The consultation and scientific studies suggested that the clock changes were having negative effects on people's health.

The EU Commission says studies suggest "the effect on the human biorhythm may be more severe than previously thought".

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said "there is no applause when EU law dictates that Europeans have to change the clocks twice a year.

"Clock-changing must stop. Member states should themselves decide whether their citizens live in summer or winter time."

Under the new legislation, governments opting to make summer time permanent would adjust their clocks for the last time on the last Sunday in March 2021.

For those choosing permanent standard time - also called winter time - the final clock change would be on the last Sunday of October 2021.

Read more on the world's time controversies:

Finland called for daylight saving to be abolished EU-wide, after a petition gathered more than 70,000 signatures from citizens calling for such a change.

Opposition to the clock changes tends to be greater in northern countries, where seasonal differences in daylight hours are greater than in the south.

In June, Finland has 18.5 hours of daylight, but in December only 5.5 hours. The corresponding figures for Greece are 14.5 hours and 9.3 hours. Yet both countries are in the same standard time zone - Eastern European Time (GMT+2).

EU time zones Presentational white space

What are the EU's time zones?

During the winter, spring and autumn, when DST is not applied, there are three standard time zones:

  • Three states apply GMT (the UK, Ireland and Portugal)
  • 17 have Central European Time, which is GMT+1
  • Eight have Eastern European Time, which is GMT+2.

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