Vote on ditching time change would cost millions

EDMONTON — As Albertans ardently debate whether to keep changing their clocks, the government estimates that a referendum on a bill about ending the twice-yearly time change would cost millions.

NDP legislature member Graham Sucha, chair of the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future, said a referendum paired with a provincial election would cost between $2 million and $6 million. Holding a time vote on its own would cost nearly $22 million.

Edmonton senior Orest Windjack told a public consultation hearing Tuesday that he’s in favour of continuing to turn clocks back one hour in the fall and move them ahead one hour in the spring. But he suggested a vote may be the best way to go.

“Put it on a ballot when we have an election,” he told the five-member hearing panel.

Others who turned out for the meeting were divided on the issue. One woman said the government shouldn’t ”fight nature” by making the time change in the spring and fall.

Earlier this year, NDP backbencher Thomas Dang spearheaded the private member’s bill that would put Alberta on central standard time year round, like Saskatchewan. It would be called Alberta Standard Time.

Alberta would be in sync with its neighbour to the east all year long and stay one hour ahead of British Columbia in the summer. But it would end up two hours ahead of B.C. in the winter.

Daylight time has been a long-running controversy in Alberta since it was brought in by plebiscite in 1971. Critics say it’s outdated and annoying, interrupts sleep and causes confusion.

The committee has also met with businesses, including WestJet, that believe ditching the time change would lead to economic losses, said NDP committee member Richard Gotfried. He suggested spending a few million dollars on a referendum might be worth it.

“It will be a one-time cost to make that decision — to give Albertans their voice — versus what could be an ongoing cost of millions of dollars in lost economic opportunity for Alberta.”

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer teacher engages students with “cool” science experiments

On Thursday, he made fire dance to the beat of the music

Province purchases land for new Red Deer courthouse

Construction to begin in the fall of 2019

Parking costs in Red Deer are going up — so are parking tickets

City council raises parking rates by 25 per cent starting July 1

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates in Red Deer

Three people vying to be the leader of the Alberta Party were… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month