When should Alberta sit if daylight savings time is removed in the province?

Seeking consensus from Albertans on which time zone the province should fall in

Many Albertans have made it clear that they want to get rid of Daylight Saving Time but now the question is which time zone.

One of the things I’ve learned since being elected MLA for Edmonton South-West in 2015 is that my constituents and all Albertans care deeply about common issues and all of them want to make life better for Albertans.

This was really evident when we opened up discussions around DST, and the effect that changing our clocks twice a year had on families, farmers, seniors and many other Albertans.

When I was preparing Bill 203, the Alberta Standard Time Act, we received tens of thousands of online submissions to our survey, and many more Albertans phoned and wrote in. I also spoke or met with stakeholder groups representing athletics, agriculture and other special interests.

Now that Bill 203 is before the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future for consideration and review, we are once again asking for public input on this important issue.

We know from the consultation that the vast majority of Albertans do not want to change their clocks twice a year. They’re also aware from personal experience what kind of effects changing the clocks can have, including tired kids and families and more potential for driving or workplace injuries.

We know that other Albertans have proposed and supported ending DST. In March 2015, a petition drafted by Ruby Kassian of Vegreville was tabled in the legislature. A similar petition was tabled in the fall of 2016, drafted by Verner Thompson of Mannville.

The question we’re grappling with now, and the intent of Bill 203, is to reach some kind of consensus on what time zone we want for Alberta all year long. We know that this is a difficult question, and that’s why we want to hear from as many Albertans as possible as we’re going through this process.

If you haven’t already done so, please take the time to go the Legislative Assembly of Alberta website at www.assembly.ab.ca/committees/abeconomicfuture/ click on Committees, and then on the link to Alberta’s Economic Future. The survey is available until July 28.

I want to thank all Albertans who have already taken the time to reach out to the committee, to me or their local MLA to provide feedback.

This year we are celebrating 150 years of Canada as a country, although we know that its history is much longer. We know that Canada and Alberta are better when people participate and share their ideas. I look forward to hearing your ideas on Bill 203, the Alberta Standard Time Act.

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