Most private member’s bills in Alberta never really see the light of day, but this one might.
On Monday, the day after Albertans were waking up one hour earlier thanks to Daylight Savings Time, NDP backbencher Thomas Dang introduced a bill to end it.
Since 1972, following the results of a plebiscite, Albertans have had to push their clocks ahead one hour in the spring, then back an hour in the fall.
Parents, farmers, seniors and others have complained about the time change because it upsets many schedules, twice a year, and may also have negative health affects.
Perhaps the most important positive impact has been that it results in an extra hour of daylight in the summer months when people are outside more in a land where every drop of warm weather is appreciated.
Dang’s bill wouldn’t change that. It proposes that Alberta move to a permanent central time zone, which would mean that no one would have to change their clocks anymore.
“What good does it do? It just doesn’t do anything, I don’t think. It’s not saving anything at all,” Margaret Leeb told the Advocate.
The Red Deer senior, who is 90, said that while breakfast wasn’t too different this week with the time change because seniors rise early, the rest of their meals at her seniors residence “felt different”.
She lived much of her life on a farm and daylight savings caused problems, she said. “If you had to be at an appointment, you’d want to gather the eggs, and the chickens weren’t laying yet at all, and by the time you got home to look after chickens, it was all filled with cracked eggs.”
“It just balled everything up. We don’t need it at all,” she said.
The bill would result in Alberta being the same time as Saskatchewan — which does not change its time at all — all year long.
It wouldn’t affect daylight time in the summer. But it would affect time with B.C. more, and also NHL games, for example.
B.C. would be one hour earlier in the summer, but two hours earlier in the winter, instead of the current constant one-hour time difference. And for anyone who travels east, the opposite would occur, so that Alberta would be one hour behind Toronto in winter and two hours in summer.
Bob Nicholson, Vice Chairman and CEO of the Oilers Entertainment Group, speaking on behalf of the Oilers and Calgary Flames, told media this week that they are opposed to ending daylight savings.
For one thing, it would mean a 9 p.m. start to the second game of Saturday’s Hockey Night In Canada telecasts from Calgary and Edmonton, ending at midnight or later in Alberta.
MLA Richard Starke, who is one of three contestants in the PC leadership election in Calgary this weekend, had earlier tabled a petition in the legislature, calling for an end to daylight savings. He would like to see a plebiscite on it.
Dang is still collecting input, which can be given online at albertandpcaucus.ca/dst He said that of the nearly 26,000 Albertans that have provided input, over 80 per cent want one time, year round.
The change, if his bill passes, would take effect in November 2018.