More than 93 per cent of the 223,273 British Columbians who completed the province’s survey on time observance have indicated they would prefer a move to permanent daylight saving time (DST).
In June, the province launched a survey asking residents whether they want to continue changing their clocks by an hour in the spring and fall or to stick permanently with DST, which would keep the additional hour of evening light year-round.
The survey quickly became the most popular in the province’s history, based on the number of respondents.
“The people of British Columbia have spoken and their collective voice has come through loudly and clearly,” said Premier John Horgan. “This engagement has done exactly as we hoped it would in providing clarity about a preferred direction. The insights generated will be relied upon as we make a final decision about how to move forward.”
The move to eliminate time change was begun by two Kamloops residents: businessman Bob Dieno and Tara Holmes, promotions director at Kamloops This Week. They have cited psychological and medical impacts associated with changing the clocks twice per year.
“I don’t think anybody would have ever predicted it would become the most responded to survey in the history of B.C.,” Dieno said, noting studies and polls conducted prior to the provincial survey indicated 70 to 75 per cent of people were in favour of remaining on daylight time.
“But 93 per cent — if that doesn’t send a strong message that nobody wants this anymore, not only to this government, but governments everywhere, I don’t know what would,” he said.
With western U.S. states also looking into making changes around daylight saving time, Dieno said the province needs to be a leader and not a follower when it comes to stopping the time change.
“They just need to say ‘Let’s take a stand. Let’s do this.’ And I promise that if we do, others will follow, and they will follow shortly afterwards."
Desire for a move to permanent DST was consistent throughout the province, with more than 90 per cent of survey respondents in each region indicating their support. More than half (54 per cent) responded that it was “important” or “very important” for B.C. to be aligned with neighbouring jurisdictions in its time observance practices.
Results from the survey will be considered alongside decisions made by jurisdictions in Canada and the western United States as the province determines the best course of action moving forward. Lawmakers in Washington, Oregon and California are in various stages of creating or enacting legislation that, pending federal approval, would see those states adopt year-round observance of daylight saving time.
“I’m very pleased that so many took time to share their views in this important engagement,” Horgan said. “We will continue to monitor similar debates in neighbouring jurisdictions, keeping in mind the wide-ranging impacts. We want to make sure we consider every implication in determining what is right for B.C.”
• Support for year-round observance of DST was higher than 90 per cent across all industry groups and in all occupational groups, except for students;
• Seventy-five per cent of those preferring year-round DST identified health and wellness concerns as a reason for their support;
• Fifty-three per cent of respondents noted the benefits of additional daylight during the evening commute in winter, while 39 per cent identified other safety concerns as reasons for their support;
• Among those who favoured retaining the biannual time change, balancing daylight hours throughout the year and health and wellness concerns were the most commonly identified reasons.
View the final report on the daylight saving time public consultation: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/502/2019/09/Daylight-Saving-Time-Final-Report.pdf
Read the written submissions and learn about the engagement: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/daylightsavingtime/