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Alberta premier says he agrees with survey urging end to daylight time


EDMONTON — The times may soon be a-changin' in Alberta.

Premier Jason Kenney says about 90 per cent of Albertans recently surveyed said they wanted to scrap daylight time and stop changing clocks by an hour twice a year.

He notes that Yukon is scrubbing daylight time and other Pacific jurisdictions want to follow suit.

"It's becoming more and more obvious that our whole region in North America is shifting in that direction," Kenney said while in Morinville, Alta., on Friday for an unrelated announcement.

"I personally support the idea, but we're going to complete our consultations before making a final decision."

Kenney said the government still wants to talk with airlines and other industry groups that could be affected. He did not give a timeline for any decision.

Saskatchewan has been on standard time for decades and Yukon announced earlier this week that this weekend will be the last time residents change their clocks.

British Columbia would like to implement a year-round time, but wants to do it in lockstep with the U.S. states of California, Oregon, and Washington.

Those states have taken steps to move to one time year-round, but still need approval from the U.S. Congress to make it law.

Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish launched an online survey late last year to ask Albertans if they would like to switch to one time year-round. There were more than 140,000 responses.

The province has been on daylight time since 1971 and, for now, residents will have to set their clocks ahead by one hour this weekend.

It's the second time in three years that Albertans have discussed seasonal time changes.

The former NDP government scrapped a backbencher's private member's bill in 2017 to do away with daylight timing after it prompted sharp and heated debate.

People who wanted to move to one time said it would be convenient, help kids with sleep rhythms, aid seniors taking pills on a schedule, and prevent egg-laying hens from getting out of whack.

Business leaders argued against the change. They said it would put export-focused Alberta out of sync with out-of-province customers and partners. Calgary-based airline WestJet said getting rid of daylight time would make it difficult for early-morning B.C. travellers as well as for passengers making connections through Calgary.

The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames NHL teams said they were worried about the impact of some Saturday night games on the West Coast not airing until late in Alberta.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2020

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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