B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal takes questions from reporters at the B.C. legislature, 2009. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. VIEWS: Get up earlier, Americans control your clock too

B.C. must wait for Trump to decide on Daylight Saving Time

So how was “spring forward” for you this year? The annual ritual of giving back the hour you borrowed from the green gods of time last fall isn’t popular, especially with parents.

As the Associated Press reported last spring, it’s not popular with cows either. Dairy farmer Katie Dotterer-Pyle and her husband David Pyle milk 350 cows on their Maryland farm, and she says they are also creatures of routine: “A few of them are just a little confused about what’s going on.”

I cite an American source for a reason. Just as U.S.-backed environmentalists decide our aquaculture and oil and gas policies for us, and their lumber barons keep our forest industry on a short leash, American governments control our time too.

Premier John Horgan confirmed this again last week, sending letters to the governors of California, Oregon and his anti-pipeline pal Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, asking them to keep him in the loop on their efforts to move to daylight saving time all year around.

B.C. could do it tomorrow on its own, but U.S. states are subject to federal law. The three western states have legislation in process to seek an exemption from the Donald Trump administration to adopt Pacific Daylight Time permanently.

“We have too many economic ties, too many social and cultural ties to have one or two jurisdictions out of sync with the others,” Horgan said.

READ MORE: B.C. offers to work with U.S. states on daylight saving time

READ MORE: B.C. MLA pushes for elimination of annual time shift

The Americans decided to move “spring forward” backward in 2005. B.C.’s then-attorney general Wally Oppal surrendered to the American will, moving “spring forward” from April to the second Sunday in March effective in 2007.

Oppal said he would consult the public mood first, but with Ontario and Manitoba already saluting to the south, there wasn’t much he could do. He was concerned about kids going to school in the dark, though. He feels you, as Horgan does today, and that means exactly what it usually means.

Daylight saving time was first proposed in 1907, when British builder William Willit circulated a pamphlet called “A Waste of Daylight.” It was first implemented during World War I to save fuel. But critics argue it’s a false economy, costing more in the morning.

One prominent critic in 2005 was UBC professor Stanley Coren, an expert in sleep effects. His study of Canadian traffic accidents in 1991 and 1992 found an eight per cent jump on the Monday after clocks were moved ahead. Coren’s research suggested that time change effects on sleep can persist for up to five days.

Regular readers will know I am not a fan of Americans controlling our politics and culture. It is now almost 50 years since a fellow named Pierre Trudeau decided Canada should get with modern times and adopt the metric system.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that this has failed. Our ever-vigilant national media, for example, have given up even trying to use metric. We all talk American now, which is fine, because as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has explained, Canada is the world’s first “post-national state.”

I have this on the authority of The New York Times Magazine, which lovingly profiled our prime minister in 2016.

So you can forget this idea of setting our own clocks (barring of course the stubborn autonomous regions of the East Kootenay and the territory around my former home town of Dawson Creek.)

Get up and get the kids to school in the dark, until Trump says differently.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press Media. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Discovery Island wolf continues to thrive

The wolf, known as ‘Takaya’, has lived on the island for seven years

Early indications say allergy season could be milder this spring

The Aerobiology Lab collects pollen samples from across Canada to help make predictions

EDITORIAL: Housing is one of our basic needs

We all need food, clothing and shelter first

BIG READ: The two sides of the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery

The case for the Strait of Georgia roe herring fishery Comox fisherman,… Continue reading

Victoria HarbourCats give away funeral to lucky fan

Just in case you die of excitment, all the bases are covered

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher premiums, private insurers say

Minor injury cap, court restrictions take effect April 1 in B.C.

Trans woman hopes funding cut will send message to B.C. rape crisis group

Rape Relief does not turn transgender women away and often connects them to other services, group says

UPDATED: Missing Victoria man found dead in Port Renfrew

Police continuing investigation, death not considered suspicious

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Bob Marley said it best: The sun is shining and the weather is sweet

Overturned vessels, simulated smoke expected in Victoria harbour for Coast Guard exercise

Coast Guard and other first responders will be on the water from 1 - 4 p.m. Thursday

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Scientists disembark in Nanaimo after international expedition probes Pacific salmon

Canadian, American, Russian, Korean and Japanese scientists survey salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Most Read