Premier David Eby said the province still plans to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, but economic concerns mean B.C. won’t spring forward forever on its own.
Eby told reporters Thursday (March 9) that the decision to hit pause stems from discussions with other cities in the Pacific Northwest that B.C. has close economic integration with.
While British Columbians would be “delighted” to see the twice-annual time change disappear, the province needs to “make sure that we don’t have unintended economic impacts,” Eby said.
British Columbians are set to move forward their clocks on Sunday (March 12) at 2 a.m. They will fall back on Sunday, Nov. 5.
In October 2019, Eby, then-attorney general, introduced legislation that would make Daylight Saving permanent in ending the practice of changing clocks twice a year, so long as the Yukon and Pacific coast states of Washington, Oregon and California committed to also making the shift.
The proposed switch received support from 93 per cent of British Columbians, according to a provincial survey at the time.
But stalled legislation in the United States at the federal level is currently holding up efforts at the state level and ultimately B.C. But that did not stop the political opposition from citing Eby’s past promise as further evidence of failing to deliver on promises.
BC Liberal House Leader Todd Stone said families “are in for another rude and cruel awakening” this Sunday.
“It’s deja vu all other again,” he said. “Yes, it’s that least wonderful time of the year, when we all lose one hour of precious sleep because the Premier couldn’t get the job done…when it comes to results, he is all talk and no clock.”
B.C. NDP House Leader Ravi Kahlon said his government wants to get this issue right in pointing to the economic implications.
“I can assure the Speaker that no one in the house wants to see him with one hour less sleep,” Kahlon said.
Experts from various fields say making Daylight Saving permanent would have several advantages, starting with health by ending the taxing time changes. The move also promises to improve traffic safety by shifting an hour of daylight to the busier evening traffic hours during the later months of the years. Economists also suspect it could also give people more sunlight in the evening hours, in which they could spend more money.
There is a flip side, however: the sun would not rise until after 8:45 a.m. in the winter months – raising concerns about the safety of children and others walking to school or work.