Columnist Glenn Mitchell says Daylight Savings Time is like a library book: it’s a borrowed hour and should probably be returned. (File photo)

COLUMN: Survey says time is on our side

Mitchell offers his thoughts on whether B.C. should go full-time to Daylight Savings Time

I don’t know about you, but I was not one of the 211,000 British Columbians who responded to the provincial government’s online survey on how we should observe time west of the Rockies.

Now it wasn’t solar vs. digital, or cosmic vs. earthly, or even desk calendar vs. cell phone, it was all about Daylight Saving Time (DST).

And apparently time flew by; the public engagement project, or in non-government speak, the online survey, went from June 24 to July 19.

That’s almost a month so even for tragic procrastinators like myself, there was plenty of time, except somehow I didn’t even hear about it.

And I have an opinion about DST and ST and even GST, but they’re not likely to have a survey on that one anytime soon.

Now I’m not a social media expert by any means but I surf the web on occasion and keep fairly close tabs on traditional media (yes, I’m old) so it’s surprising I missed this survey somehow, although keeping track of Trump’s shenanigans takes up way too much of my time and I’m trying to cut back.

It also could be that I’m not much of a fan of online surveys so I just shrugged it off when I heard about it, and promptly forgot about it. That’s more likely.

READ MORE: British Columbians surveyed on time change

Anyway, obviously more than 211,000 residents thought it was worth five minutes of their extra hour of daylight after supper to give their opinion on the matter.

I’m thinking these people would tend to be on the younger side of the demographic, considering internet savvy and everything, and motivated to vote in favour of DST all year long for two reasons—one you get an extra hour of light in the evening, all year long, like in January and everything, and, two, the whole exercise is geared towards attracting the pro-DST crowd (as in if you want to be hip, vote for the new over the status quo, and why would you go on a survey just to prove you’re not hip? – unless you’re even more of a dinosaur than I am).

However it’s far from scientific or democratic (it left out most of us dinosaurs, over 60, by design), although at least it should have been fairly cheap, at least compared to a real referendum.

Even the phrasing of the two choices is biased against Standard Time

1. B.C. continues the practice of changing our clocks bi-annually; or

2. B.C. adopts year-round observance of Daylight Saving Time

That makes it sound like No. 1 takes a huge amount of work twice a year when we have to hunt down every clock in the house and change it forward in the spring and back in the fall. I get tired just thinking about it.

And with number 2, we’ll never have to lift a finger again when it comes to time and we’ll all live happily ever after never, ever having to worry if we missed the day to change our clocks.

Pretty much paradise, with an extra hour of sunlight every evening.

READ MORE: 60% of British Columbians don’t know why we have daylight saving time: poll

Of course not only is Standard Time not named in the choices, neither is the possibility of Standard Time all year long considered as an option. (Anybody from Saskatchewan out there? Light in the morning when you got stuff to do can be a good thing.)

Apparently, our premier says, Oregon, Washington and California (hip places by the way, and in our time zone) are considering DST all year long so that helps to explain the bias, and maybe the online survey option of gathering opinions.

After all, us dinosaurs tend to prefer the status quo. All I know is I always thought DST in the spring was like borrowing an hour from Mother Nature so you could enjoy the outdoors a little more during the spring and summer months.

But like anything you borrowed—a library book, etc.—you had to give it back once you were finished with it and didn’t need it as much, you know like in the winter when you’re more focused on inside endeavours.

It just wouldn’t be right to borrow something and never give it back, would it?

Apparently the premier says a decision will be made this fall. What month, what day and definitely what time is to be determined.

Glenn Mitchell is the former editor of The Morning Star.

READ MORE: Mitchell’s Musings: In trump we trust


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