B.C. premier predicts delay in ditching seasonal time change
VICTORIA -- B.C. Premier John Horgan is casting doubt on whether his government will end seasonal time changes in the province.
In a news conference Thursday, the premier affirmed his commitment to implementing year-round daylight saving time, but said the ultimate authority on the decision lies with a U.S. Congress that seems increasingly pre-occupied with other matters.
"We passed legislation last fall to bring in a Pacific Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Time and we're intent on going down that road," Horgan told reporters at the B.C. legislature. "But we also heard from British Columbians that they felt that having the same time zone as our current neighbours – Washington, Oregon and California – was the best way to go."
To date, Washington state and Oregon have approved legislation committing to a year-round Pacific time, while a majority of voters in California have cast ballots supporting the move. Turning those state initiatives into law, however, requires the ascent of the U.S. Congress – something Horgan said is not a prioirty right now in U.S. federal politics.
"The likelihood of a Congressional approval of this is even less today than it was in the fall," Horgan said.
"We're in an election year in the United States, but we'll be springing forward on March 8 and will have some time through the spring and into the summer to decide whether we're going to fall back."
A spokesperson for the Washington state govenrment told CTV News on Thursday that legislation to implement permanent daylight saving time has been passed but is still awaiting federal approval.
Horgan told CTV News in October that he expected the March 8 time change to be the last time British Columbians would be asked to change their clocks, but added the impeachment inquiries against U.S. President Donald Trump were holding things up.
A B.C. government survey last summer saw more than 93 per cent of respondents – almost 225,000 people –support a permanent move to daylight time. The Yukon government has also expressed support for joining B.C. and its West Coast counterparts, should the move ultimately go ahead.