Politics

Debating the pros and cons of Daylight Savings Time

Ahead of the end of this year’s daylight saving on Nov. 7, Shannon Proudfoot breaks down the pros and cons of the increasingly unpopular practice

DST comes to an end in much of the country on Nov. 7, when clocks go back an hour and small children from coast to coast lose their minds and take their parents with them. Originally established in Canada in 1908 when our lives were more governed by the rhythms of available daylight, DST has become increasingly unpopular and many jurisdictions have toyed with getting rid of it.

(Illustration by Sol Cotti)

Pros

Peer pressure

Most of the U.S. and Europe use DST, so trade and social ties could be thrown into disarray if we opt out. Indeed, when Ontario voted to abolish the time change in 2020, it was only on condition that Quebec and New York state do the same.

READ: These are the Canadians whose clocks don’t spring forward or fall back 

Let there be light

In March, when snowbank tendrils still cling to our streets and psyches, that extra hour of evening daylight arrives right when we need it most to prevail through false spring into the real, balmy thing.

Siri, make it easy

As we acquire more mini-robot clocks that automatically update, the time change gets easier to navigate. Like your ancestors before you, just ignore that blinking DVD display for the rest of your natural life.

(Illustration by Sol Cotti)

Cons

It’s confusing

Parts of B.C., Ontario and Quebec don’t use DST. With the exception of a few municipalities, most of Saskatchewan skips it. As of March 2020, The Yukon ditched it entirely. Good luck sorting all this out if you have to book a trans-provincial conference call.

MORE: The great pumpkin spice debate 

It’s dangerous

Some studies show an uptick in car accidents after clocks go ahead in the spring, likely because people are sleep-deprived or because their morning commute is darker. The autumn “fall back” does not appear to have the same effect.

No, but for real

Kids = loco. Young children are a total mess for a week after the clocks magically skip a beat. You could campaign on this single issue as a candidate and sweep the parent vote.




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