The province is moving towards permanent daylight saving time (DST) after 93 per cent of British Columbian respondents indicated support for the change in a record-breaking public engagement.
“British Columbians have said loud and clear that they want to do away with the practice of changing our clocks twice a year and our government is taking action,” said Premier John Horgan, in a news release. “This bill creates a clear path forward for the transition, while also ensuring we take into account every detail during implementation.”
A bill brought forward this week will amend legislation that enabled the bi-annual change from standard to daylight time and will rename the province’s time zone as Pacific time. It will not affect the long-standing ability of certain local areas in the North and Kootenays to remain on mountain time, as they have for decades.
The move to year-round DST is planned to be brought into effect at a time that maintains alignment with Washington, Oregon, California and Yukon, which are all in the process of creating or enacting similar legislation. More than half (54 per cent) of respondents in B.C.’s public engagement indicated it was “important” or “very important” that the province stay synchronized with neighbouring jurisdictions in its time-observance practices. However, the bill does not prevent government from forging ahead if such a move is determined to be in B.C.’s best interests.
“While the bill doesn’t immediately shift the province to permanent DST, it puts us in position to do so quickly,” Horgan said. “This legislation is a signal to British Columbians that their collective voice has been heard and that our government is attending to every detail in preparation to do away with the biannual time change once and for all.”
* Pacific time will be seven hours behind co-ordinated universal time (UTC), the same difference observed during daylight saving time.
* The public engagement on DST resulted in 223,273 completed surveys, 279 email submissions from private citizens, and 15 written submissions from organizations and experts.
* Across all regions, support for a change to year-round DST was over 90 per cent. Similarly, across all industry groups and all occupational groups, except for students, support for year-round DST observance was higher than 90 per cent.