At this year’s municipal election, Alberta residents are being asked their opinion on changing to Daylight Savings Time, but there are many in the community who are wondering if it is that simple.
The question on the 2018 ballot is “Do you want Alberta to adopt year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is summer hours, eliminating the need to change our clocks twice a year?”
Drumheller resident Sharon Oster has concerns about the question and feels there should be more than two options on the ballot, and feel Albertans should be given the option of choosing to observe Mountain Standard Time year-round. She reached out to Drumheller-Stettler MLA Nate Horner to ask him why no option was given.
He responded many Albertans would like to see the change.
“This is a topic that affects everyone within our province and also beyond our borders, for example with travel plans and airline flights, calling friends and family in different time zones, and even watching professional sports,” he states.
He adds, Service Alberta completed a survey in 2019 where 141,000 Albertans responded and 91 per cent said they would prefer to observe Daylight Saving Time.
She is grateful for the reply but felt her question wasn’t answered.
“Why weren’t Albertans given that choice? In regards to the survey conducted by Service Alberta, if you didn’t want to fiddle with changing your clocks twice a year…the only other option was DST all year. The option of adopting year-round observance of Mountain Standard time was not given! How many of the 91% of the 141,000 surveyed, would have chosen that option?” she states adding, “Nor has there been any media references to what staying on DST means, especially for mental health and not seeing the light of day, in mid-winter, until 9:30 or later.”
More concerns were expressed in an article written by Heath McCoy at the University of Calgary, citing the stance of Dr. Michael Antle, University of Calgary professor in the Department of Psychology.
He points out “Albertans, who live in the Mountain Standard Time Zone, would be especially impacted by the permanent DST move. Our exposure to daylight fluctuates within time zones, depending on where one is geographically located within their zones. The further west we are within our time zones makes for later morning light.
“That means in Calgary our sunrise in December won’t come until after 9:30 in the morning. Edmonton’s sunrise will be even later, and Grande Prairie won’t see the light of dawn until almost 10:30 a.m.”
In 2017 NDP MLA Thomas Dang introduced a private members bill to scrap Daylight Saving time and remain on Mountain Daylight Saving Time.
It was defeated.