Should Ontario move to daylight time permanently? An Ottawa MPP thinks so
Descendant of a Hungarian noble family Bela Hatvani adjusts a clock backward one hour in a museum displaying his family’s clock collection in Kunszallas, Hungary, 28 October 2017. EPA/Sandor Ujvari
OTTAWA -- An Ottawa MPP wants to stop Ontarians from falling back one hour every fall.
Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Jeremy Roberts introduced a private members bill titled the "Time Amendment Act," which would move Ontario permanently to daylight time. The bill passed second reading at Queen's Park on Wednesday.
In a media release, Roberts office says the Time Amendment Act would clear the road for Ontario to end the bi-annual practice of changing our clocks. If passed, Ontario would move permanently to daylight time if Quebec and New York pass similar legislation.
"I see this as an important first step towards fulfilling the public's overwhelming desire to end this out-of-date practice," said Roberts in a statement.
"I believe that by showing leadership in taking this step, Ontario can encourage our counterparts in Quebec and New York State to take similar action so that, together, we can put this issue to bed, and all be better rested for it."
Speaking on Newstalk 580 CFRA's Ottawa's Now with Kristy Cameron, Roberts said now is a good time to start the discussion on a shift to permanent daylight time.
"It seemed like a perfect time to do it. We're facing down the time change, the fall back change at the end of October," said Roberts.
"This seemed like a great time to introduce this bill and try and spark this conversation and see if we can get folks onboard with ending this outdated practice. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is dreading losing those hours of evening daylight when you get home from work and school."
Roberts notes academic studies from around the world have suggested the bi-annual change can cause serious negative effects, such as increased depression rates, heart attacks, strokes, and higher numbers of fatal collisions.
"A whole bunch of evidence that really suggested that now is the time to look at making this change," said Roberts Wednesday afternoon.
Newstalk 580 CFRA's Kristy Cameron asked Roberts why Ontario would only eliminate the time change if Quebec and New York state follows.
"From Quebec, it's really an Ottawa local issue that concerns us. That's because as we know a lot of the Federal Government buildings are over in Gatineau," said Roberts.
"So if we didn't do this in concert with Quebec, we'd end up with a situation where half of our federal civil servants were on one time zone and the other half were on the other, which could get pretty confusing."
Both Quebec and New York State have not introduced any legislation related to Daylight Saving Time
Daylight Saving Time started in Ontario in 1918. This year, it ends on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 a.m.
Saskatchewan is the only province that currently follows standard time year round. In March, Yukon made the switch to daylight time permanent.
In 2019, the B.C. Government passed legislation that outlined plans to switch to a "Pacific Standard Time," alongside Washington state, Oregon and California.