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Ontario is moving closer to longer, brighter days throughout the year.
A private member’s bill, called the Time Amendment Act, eliminates the annual clock change in Ontario. The Time Amendment Act amends the Time Act to make Daylight Saving Time the standard time year-round. Consequential amendments will be made to the Election Act, the Labour Relations Act, and the Mining Act.
Daylight Saving Time is the practice of advancing the clock to benefit from afternoon sunlight in warmer months. Winter days in Ontario would start darker for multiple hours in the morning, but stay lighter into the evening if Daylight Saving Time was implemented year-round.
Changing the clock has been linked to negative consequences. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested the risk of having a heart attack increases in the first three weekdays after switching to Daylight Saving Time in the spring. Tiredness induced by the clock change is believed to be the main cause for increased traffic accidents on the following Monday.
The Time Amendment Act passed through the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly on Monday. It has been ordered for third reading.
Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Jeremy Roberts tabled the bill on Oct. 6. The bill made it through first reading that day. It passed second reading with unanimous support from the government and opposition parties the day after.
The Ontario government said the change will be on pause if the bill is passed. Modifications will not be made until Quebec and New York pass similar bills.
This bill has received support from the Ontario BIA Association and 14 local chambers of commerce across the province.
Saskatchewan does not practice Daylight Saving Time. Yukon became the first area in Canada to pass a bill to move to year-round Daylight Saving Time on March 8. British Columbia has passed a bill to stay in Pacific Standard Time, but it has not been enacted because it cannot take place without coordination from the American states in the same time zone.
Progress is being made, and that is great news for people who dread the idea of pushing the clocks back as an unofficial introduction to annual darkness, cold, and winter.