Daylight savings time (DST) and the thievery of an hour of our precious weekends is always a hot button topic in early March around the office, work site, school yard or any other place where people gather to complain. At this time of year, daylight savings time is fairly certainly universally hated.

A brief review of the internet suggests that when it comes time to “spring forward” an avalanche of vitriol from all corners of the world spews forth with it. Strangely (in our sarcastic voice), a similar review of the web reveals a deafening silence on the impacts of daylight savings time when it comes time to fall back in November.

Studies show daylight savings can have an effect on your health

Daylight savings time is more than just annoying, it could have adverse impacts on your health. According to a 2016 study from the American Academy of Neurology, there is a slight uptick in the occurrence of strokes in cancer patients and seniors in the week after the time change.

The one hour time shift can also have a huge effect on your sleep, which can cause you to be tired throughout the days following and have less alertness. The New England Journal of Medicine has found that the tiredness induced by daylight savings time has been the main reason for the steep increase in traffic accidents and workplace injuries after the start of daylight savings.

By the way, if you have been injured in an accident due to someone’s negligence, Ahlstrom Wright’s personal injury lawyers can help; you can contact our team for a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your situation.

Even if you are skeptical about the negative health impacts, the annoyance factor itself should be enough to spark change. It begs the question, Why?

History of Daylight Savings Time in Canada

Daylight savings time in Canada started in Thunder Bay, Ontario

Disturbingly, daylight savings time did begin in Canada. Thunder Bay, Ontario has the odious distinction of being crowned the first municipality in the world to implement daylight savings time in 1908, and we have never forgiven Ontario. Daylight savings time picked up traction during World War I when it was thought that by adjusting the clocks for the summer months would help preserve coal. It was also thought that it would encourage people to get out and about in the late hours of the summer days. By the end of the war, all of the major participants had adopted daylight savings time, and the collective madness of daylight savings time persists today in countries all the way from Australia to Uruguay.

Saskatchewan is the only Canadian province to NOT have daylight savings time

Saskatchewan was the first, and only, province in Canada to do away with daylight savings time, and they did so way back in 1966 with the passing of the appropriately named Saskatchewan Time Act. Now, most of Saskatchewan clocks line up with Winnipeg in the winter, and Calgary and Edmonton in the summer. Some areas of Saskatchewan, like Lloydminster, which straddles the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan chooses to follow Alberta time (MST).

Alberta Almost Ended Daylight Savings Time with Bill 203

Bill 203 — Alberta’s start and end of the plan to stop daylight savings

In 2017, Bill 203 was introduced in the Alberta Legislature to consider whether Alberta wanted to move to its own standard time, scrap daylight savings time and stop changing our clocks twice a year. The government sought input on the changes to daylight savings time through a survey under which almost 3/4 of the 13,500 respondents suggested Alberta should cast daylight savings time aside forever.

Bill 203 didn’t make it through largely because of the cost associated with such a change.

Several large companies, including WestJet, the Oilers Entertainment Group, and Edmonton International Airport, opposed the bill, mainly because the effects on air travel, connecting flights and departure times for travelers.

What would life in Edmonton and Sherwood Park be like if Alberta’s Bill 203 stopped daylight savings time?

If the Bill would have come into effect, Alberta would have been two hours ahead of BC in the winter and one hour ahead in the summer, and would have kept in line with the time in Saskatchewan all year round. Despite the overwhelming support from Albertans, MLAs voted to kill the bill in the fall of 2017, and there are no signs that the issue will be reconsidered in the future, so it looks like we are in for daylight savings time for the long haul.

See you again next year when the annual review commences once more.

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