Over 90 per cent of B.C. residents prefer year-round daylight savings

Most British Columbians are in favour of a permanent move to daylight saving time (DST).

A record number of British Columbians responded to the province’s summer survey — which asked residents to share their opinions on the nature of time — and 93 per cent of those respondents preferred to change to a year-round observance of DST, rather than follow the current practice of “springing forward” and “falling back.”

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More than 223,000 B.C. residents completed the online survey, which ran from June 24 to July 19, and 279 submitted email responses. A total of 15 written submissions were received from organizations and experts.

 “I’m very pleased that so many took the time to share their views in this important engagement,” said Premier John Horgan in a press release.

“We will continue to monitor similar debates in neighbouring jurisdictions, keeping in mind the wide range of impacts. We want to make sure we consider every implication in determining what is right for B.C.”

Apart from students, support for the move was seen throughout the province, and across all industry and occupational groups.

And 75 per cent of respondents cited health and wellness concerns as a reason for their support for year-round DST. Other reasons for supporting the move included additional daylight during the evening commute in winter and safety concerns.

But for residents who prefer to keep the current system, many expressed a desire to balance daylight hours throughout the year, as well as health and wellness concerns.

Over half of the survey respondents also said that it was important or very important that B.C.’s time observance be aligned with its neighbours. Currently, Washington, Oregon and California are working towards adopting DST year-round.

The province hasn’t yet announced how our clocks will be set, but will be considering the results of the survey along with the decisions of our neighbours to determine the best course of action.

To read the written submissions, visit Engage.Gov.bc.ca/DaylightSavingTime, and read the final report of the public consultation here.

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