STOP THE TIME CHANGE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
STOP THE TIME CHANGE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
Twice a year, in B.C. and in most parts of Canada, Canadians join with approximately 76 other countries around the world and practice Daylight Saving Time (DST).
We would like to stop this practice and remain on one time all year long. Preferably staying on DST all year long
Our Goal is to reach 30,000 signatures on this petition to take this to the BC government and lobby for BC to remain on DST. Our original goal was 10,000 signatures (which we reached in early Nov 2015) but in meetings with Honorable Ministers Terry Lake (Health) and Todd Stone (Transportation) they suggested we have at least 30,000 on the petition.
In 2007, the B.C. government received 4300 submissions from businesses, individuals and organizations and conducted a 4 week public consultation on expanding DST by an extra 3 weeks every year in order to align with the U.S. and other jurisdictions. The finally tally showed that 92 percent of respondents favoured DST and the extra hour of daylight during the evening hours. In addition, eleven chambers of commerce wrote submissions in support of expanding DST.
Since 2007, the clocks have moved forward on the second Sunday in March, and then moved back on first Sunday of November.
The primary goal of Daylight Saving Time is to conserve energy but whether DST actually saves energy is unclear and there are many contradictory studies. There are, however, even more studies that tell us that the change itself can cause accidents, injuries and even deaths. Many of these issues are related to sleep pattern change that the biennial shift mandates.
There is a growing collection of evidence to show that the biennial time change has plenty of unintended consequences.
In his 1996 book, Sleep Thieves, Dr. Stanley Coren, from the University of British Columbia wrote “that as a society we are increasingly sleep-deprived”. In a letter to the editor in the New England Journal of Medicine, in the same year, Coren wrote, “it is becoming clear that insufficient sleep and disrupted circadian rhythms are a major health problem”.
Using data from the Canadian Ministry of Transport from 1991 and 1992, Coren coded all the data and found the loss of just one hour’s sleep during the shift to DST in the spring increased the number of traffic accidents by 8 percent. In the fall, when Canadians get an hour more of sleep, the number of traffic accidents decreased by a similar amount.
Major disasters such as the Exxon Valdez, the Challenger Explosion and the nuclear accident at Chernobyl are all linked to sleep deprivation. The costs of sleep-related accidents, as reported for the year 1988, to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research in the U.S. was in excess of $56 billion and included almost 25,000 deaths and 2.5 million serious injuries.
A 2009 study reported in the Journal of Applied Psychology also found that that the lost hour led to more frequent and more severe injuries among minors. Researchers looked at the Mondays following the time shift over a 23 year period between 1983 and 2006 and found 3.6 more injuries on time shift days and a 68 percent increase in lost work days.
The link between heart attacks and the spring time shift to DST has been well documented and the evidence is convincing. The best known study comes from Sweden where researchers found a 5 percent increase in heart attacks in the three days following the spring time shift. A lower percentage increase was found during the fall back shift. The suspected cause of the increases is the disruption of sleep patterns and biological rhythms.
Moving clocks forward and backward every year in an ever increasing complex digital world is not without consequences either. Air traffic schedules, train schedules, public transport schedules all must be changed biennially. It complicates timekeeping, disrupts meetings and even livestock have been shown to have trouble adjusting to new routines.
Moving the hours around twice a year is a complex matter. Although it was originally brought forward by Benjamin Franklin as a way to conserve energy and that remains its primary purpose to this day, there is in fact no consistent evidence to show it is helping us. There is on the other hand, plenty of evidence to show that constantly shifting back and forth does harm.