Premier John Horgan said he checking with the province’s neighbours in the United States about possibly moving to a unified time zone.
Horgan said as B.C. prepares to shift its clocks to daylight time on Sunday, March 10 — springing ahead by one hour — he wants to explore the possibility of California, Washington, Oregon and B.C. being on the same time all year long.
He said he has written to the governors of the three states, asking for updates on their views about time changes.
Horgan said the issue is a matter of debate in B.C., but noted change isn’t imminent, even though he believes it makes sense if the three states and B.C. act together on the issue.
He said if any one of the three states acted alone, it would have a significant impact on B.C.
Horgan said B.C. can switch to a single time zone without federal approval, but the states require an act of Congress.
“I understand that all of our Pacific Coast jurisdictions are currently considering the same issue, albeit in different ways,” Horgan said in his letter to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“It is clear, however, that a change in any of these jurisdictions in our time zone would have significant impacts on B.C.,” the letter states,. “It makes sense to me that we move in unison on this matter.”
In November 2018, California voters overwhelmingly approved, by a margin of 60 per cent to 40 per cent, Proposition 7, which would see the state remain on daylight saving time year-round. But for the vote to become law, it requires two-thirds approval by the state legislature in Sacramento.
Assembly Bill 7, created from Proposition 7, remains at the committee stage. If it is passed, it would then need the governor’s signature, followed by U.S. Congress approval in Washington, D.C.
In Oregon, Senate Bill 320 aims to also keep that state on daylight saving time year-round, as do two bills in Washington state — Senate Bill 5139 and House Bill 1196.
Kamloops residents Tara Holmes (KTW’s promotions director) and Bob Dieno have for the past few years been petitioning the provincial government to abolish the twice-yearly time change, citing medical and psychological impacts.
Meanwhile, a recent survey commissioned by BC Hydro finds the majority of British Columbians do not know why daylight saving time exists
Daylight saving time was first implemented in Canada more than 100 years ago as a way to conserve energy; however, about 60 per cent of British Columbians incorrectly believe its purpose is to provide more sunlight during waking hours.
Others believe it exists to provide more working hours, while some just think it costs them an hour of sleep — with 35 per cent saying the time shift has a negative effect on them. Fifty-six per cent British Columbians would prefer if B.C. remained on standard time year-round.
Several studies have found daylight saving time electricity savings are negligible — or non-existent. In fact, a recent study in Alberta found that it actually has the opposite effect, increasing energy use.
his fall, BC Hydro is planning to release a new report after further research and analysis on daylight saving time, which will examine whether the practice saves electricity in B.C.