Charla Huber: The end of time changes is long overdue

I am not a big fan of surveys, and I have to admit that most of the time when I am sent a survey link, I don’t complete it. I am in the middle of my master’s degree and learning all about the importance of research and how surveys can be a valuable tool, but still, I very rarely complete a survey.

Increasing the odds of winning an item or getting a discount on a purchase isn’t enough for me to feel compelled to complete a survey.

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One survey that I was extremely excited to participate in was the B.C. government survey regarding what our province should to do with daylight saving time. As soon as I heard the survey was open, I participated.

This week the results were announced, and it was pretty impressive to see that 93 per cent of the 220,000 B.C. residents in favour of year-long daylight time. I heard this was the highest participation rate of a survey conducted by the provincial government, ever. That’s a huge demonstration that this biannual time change needs to be retired.

I was even more excited to hear this could be implemented by the B.C. government as early as the fall. Old habits are hard to break, and we are one of the 70 countries who still participate in daylight saving. I am hoping that we don’t need to move our clocks by one hour again, but if we do, it will be on Nov. 1.

I had always been told that daylight saving was used to benefit farmers, but it wasn’t the case. Somehow, it’s a misconception that so many of us have been led to believe is fact. Apparently, daylight saving time was implemented in the First World War as a fuel-saving technique that originated in Germany. Today, it’s not clear what the true energy savings are that come from the practice. There is a lot of emphasis on energy conservation, and I am not convinced that daylight saving time is the best way to get there.

I understand B.C. will move toward the this change if the U.S. states along the coast do as well. The reasoning is staying in line with Washington state, Oregon and California for business and trade. I am not an expert in international trade, but I can understand how that should be factored in.

I also think if this issue has had the highest participation rate ever, our government should listen to the people and act accordingly.

I am not a big fan of moving clocks backward and forward every six months. Other than nostalgia, I don’t see any benefit from it. According to the B.C. government’s survey, neither do most people.

Our local fire departments will need to find two other annual milestones to remind us to change our smoke-alarm batteries, but I am sure Halloween and Canada Day could work.

I read Times Colonist reporter Cindy E. Harnett’s article on this, and found it pretty interesting that 36 U.S. states have introduced legislation to end these biannual time changes.

Changing the clocks every six months is just a hassle that adds a hiccup in my schedule.

Charla Huber is the director of communications and Indigenous relations for M’akola Housing Society and M’akola Development Services.

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