We call it Daylight Saving Time (DST), the British call it “British Summer Time” and it is called “summertime” in other countries. It is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that evening daylight lasts longer while sacrificing normal sunrise times.
Typically, regions that use daylight saving time adjust clocks forward one hour close to the start of spring and adjust them backward in the autumn to standard time. In Canada we have a little expression, “Spring ahead, Fall behind” to make it easy to remember what to do twice a year. In Canada, it is the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November.
There has been a push to scrap the time-switch in Canada. British Columbia (western-most province of Canada) petitioned to end daylight saving time in the province back in 2015. Tens of thousands supported the move to end daylight-savings time.
In the spring of 2019 British Columbians were invited to share their views on how to observe time in its province. Most areas of B.C. currently “spring forward” into Daylight Saving Time during summer months and “fall back” to Standard Time in the winter.
The following choices were considered:
- B.C. continues the practice of changing our clocks bi-annually; or
- B.C. adopts year-round observance of Daylight-Saving Time.
The summer 2019 petition garnered almost a quarter of a million signatures supporting option number 2.
Legislators in California, Oregon and Washington have proposed bills to end the bi-annual time change and institute Daylight Saving Time year-round. BC Premier John Horgan has reached out to the Governors of Washington, Oregon and California, as well as the Premier of Yukon, to inform them of the discussion in BC.
Daylight-savings time was proposed by George Hudson in 1885 and first implemented by the Austrian Empire in 1916. However, some countries do not recognize it in all regions. In Canada, for example, most of Saskatchewan does not change clocks spring and fall; it technically observes DST year-round. Parts of Nunavut remain on Eastern Standard Time throughout the year. In the USA (which has 11 time zones) most areas observe DST with the exception of Arizona and Hawaii. Florida has recently applied to get rid of DST.
DST clock shifts sometimes complicate timekeeping and can disrupt travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and sleep patterns. Computer software often adjusts clocks, so, some of the inconvenience is handled electronically.
What are the benefits and drawbacks? Proponents say that it conserves energy and has a psychological benefit of extending the daylight hours. Opponents say that the energy arguments are inconclusive. People must remember to change their clocks which is a time-consuming exercise, particularly for antique and vintage mechanical clocks that cannot be moved backward safely.
But why go through this nonsense; let’s just get rid of DST! I advocate a move to “permanent daylight-saving time” with no time shifts at all. My clocks will appreciate it and yours will too!
How do you feel? Join the movement to end daylight-savings time. Let your government representative know how you feel!