A large percentage of British Columbians have spoken in favour of making a permanent switch to Daylight Saving Time.
The results of a public online survey conducted by the provincial government this summer indicate that 93% of respondents approve of the move. In total, a whopping 223,273 residents responded to the survey.
“The people of British Columbia have spoken and their collective voice has come through loudly and clearly,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement.
“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.”
90% of respondents from each region of BC indicated their support of permanent DST, with more than half of all who took the survey stating how important it is for B.C. to be aligned with neighbouring jurisdictions in its time observance practices.
According to the provincial government, the results of this survey will be considered alongside decisions made by other jurisdictions in Canada and 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,” says the premier’s office.
In their quest to engage with BC residents on this subject, the province also received 279 emails from private citizens and 15 written submissions from organizations and experts.
However among these expert submissions, there was no consensus on which year-round time to observe: six submissions preferred year-round observance of DST, while four preferred year-round observance of ST.
75% of survey respondents who preferred permanent DST cited health and wellness concerns as a reason for their support.
A little over half of them noted the benefits of additional daylight during the evening commute in winter, while 39% identified other safety concerns as reasons for their support.