Opinion: Why it's time to do away with Daylight Saving Time

Nov 1 2016, 1:49 am

I never thought I’d say this, but… it’s time to be more like Regina. And Saskatoon. And North Battleford. And Eyebrow (it’s a village in Saskatchewan, near Elbow. Seriously. Google it.)

Yes, it’s time to ditch Daylight Saving Time, the way Saskatchewan did back in 1966.

The province was sick of messing with time and decided to say no more to ‘falling back.’ Well, most of the province did. There are a few places in Saskatchewan that still observe DST (Daylight Saving Time), like the city of Lloydminster for example.

Lloydminster is divided by the Saskatchewan-Alberta border, so it made the call to stay on Alberta time all year. And since Alberta observes Daylight Saving Time, for six months of the year, Lloydminster is in sync with the rest of the province of Saskatchewan. For the other six months, it’s out of whack.

But I digress.

The idea of Daylight Saving Time has been around for a while. Benjamin Franklin first brought up the idea in 1784, but it didn’t gain any traction until 1916 when Germany became the first country to implement DST in an effort to save fuel during World War I.

Britain, much of Europe, Canada, and the US all thought “What a great idea!” and jumped on the DST bandwagon soon after. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Now I appreciate that, in 1916, Daylight Saving Time probably had its merits. But now, 100 years later, it’s nothing short of a giant pain in the ass.

Want to know why? Here are just a some of the ways Daylight Saving Time messes with your life:

It’s bad for your health

One study proved that moving the clocks forward an hour disrupts a person’s internal clock enough that it increases the chance of having a stroke by 8%. Another found heart attacks increase by 10% the two days following the shift to Daylight Saving Time. So DST isn’t just annoying, it could actually kill you.

Your kids

They don’t understand DST! Do you think a three-year-old thinks “Oh good, it’s Daylight Saving Time. We’re falling back so that means my exhausted parents are going to get an extra hour of well-deserved sleep tonight?” No it doesn’t. DST just means your kid is getting up at 5 am instead of 6 am!

Your insurance rates

Research has shown that car accidents increase the Monday after Daylight Saving Time is introduced. Apparently all it takes is losing one hour of sleep for us to become idiots on the road.

Your wallet

Whether you’re tired from losing an hour of sleep in the spring or you’re groggy from getting up in the dark in the fall, you’re not as productive when you head into work the first day after that time change. And that costs companies big money. One report suggests that lost productivity due to DST costs $434 million in the US alone.

Your clocks

No, I’m not talking about your internal clock. I’m talking about the actual clocks in your life. Thanks to DST, the clock in my car is off by an hour six months of every year. Like I said, DST is a pain in the ass!

In the past 100 years, a number of towns, cities and provinces have fallen off the DST bandwagon. Even areas of British Columbia have jumped off, including part of the Peace River Regional District of BC (including the Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Hudson’s Hope, Fort St. John, Taylor, and Tumbler Ridge) do not observe DST.

So why are other cities around the country still hanging on?

Let’s be like (most of) Saskatchewan. Let’s be like Chetwynd. Or, if you prefer, let’s be like Hawaii.

Let’s stop messing with the clocks. No more ‘springing ahead’ the second Sunday of every March. No more ‘falling back’ the first Sunday of every November. Let’s leave time alone.

Daylight Saving Time had its time. But that time is over.

Remember to ‘fall back’ on Sunday, November 6. At 2 am, turn your clocks back one hour.

Amy BeemanAmy Beeman

+ Opinions