93 per cent of British Columbians support permanent daylight saving time: survey
Published Tuesday, September 10, 2019 8:42AM PDT Last Updated Tuesday, September 10, 2019 6:39PM PDT
The overwhelming majority of British Columbians who filled out the province's online daylight saving time (DST) survey want B.C. to stop with the time changes and move to permanent daylight saving time.
Those are the results of the province's survey, released Tuesday, which show 93 per cent support for the move among the survey's 223,273 respondents.
"The people of British Columbia have spoken and their collective voice has come through loudly and clearly," said B.C. Premier John Horgan.
"This engagement has done exactly as we hoped it would in providing clarity about a preferred direction. The insights generated will be relied upon as we make a final decision about how to move forward."
The premier's office says the support for the change is consistent throughout the province, with more than 90 per cent of survey-takers in each region in favour of permanent DST.
More than half – 54 per cent – of residents said it was "important" or "very important" for B.C. to be aligned with neighbouring jurisdictions in its time observance practices.
The province says the results will be considered alongside similar proposals in the western United States.
"Lawmakers in Washington, Oregon and California are in various stages of creating or enacting legislation that, pending federal approval, would see those states adopt year-round observance of daylight saving time," the premier's office said.
The online survey was conducted with the aim of getting a wide sample of feedback. The consultation period was from June 24 to July 19.
In addition to the completed online surveys, the government received 279 email submissions from private citizens and 15 written submissions from organizations and experts.
The survey says 75 per cent of respondents identified health and wellness concerns as their reason for wanting to scrap the time change, but the same health reasons were cited by the minority who favoured falling back and springing forward.
Fifty-three per cent of those who supported year-round daylight time mentioned the benefit of additional daylight during the evening commute in winter, while 39 per cent said other safety concerns were behind their support.
The government acknowledges that there are some limitations with the online survey, primarily that respondents were required to be users of the internet. As a result, the government allowed non-users to phone ServiceBC or mail in their opinions using a downloaded feedback form.
The voluntary nature of the survey also means there could a self-selection bias that sees those who hold strong views being more likely to respond, the government says, adding that the anonymous nature of the poll means it is impossible to assess how that might have affected the results.