Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2020/ Goodbye Daylight Savings Time?

Goodbye Daylight Savings Time?

I don't have many kind things to say about the Doug Ford government, but credit where credit's due: thanks to a PC MPP named Jeremy Roberts, Ontario passed Bill 214, the "Time Amendment Act". This is the first step towards eliminating the Daylight Savings Time switch in Ontario, and keeping us on summer time permanently.

I am greatly irritated by Daylight Savings Time. I especially hate the "Spring Forward" shift in March, because I already tend to be sleep deprived, and losing an hour makes it much worse. The justifications people offer for keeping DST ("chidren will walk to school in the dark!" "farmers need DST so they can get up!" "it's important to have sunlight when you wake up!") are all stupid, and easily solved by getting up an hour later in the winter if you are so inclined. When I was teaching this term the DST shift caused all kinds of problems, because 20% of our class was overseas, and many of them were in civilized countries that did not shift their clock. In other countries, the shift happened on a different day. It was an unnecessary mess.

Finally, somebody is doing something about it. Well, sort of. The aforementioned Jeremy Roberts introduced a private member's bill (!) this year, and it passed with unanimous support (!). This is crazy. Private members bills rarely pass.

There are, of course, strings attached. Roberts's bill does not actually get rid of Daylight Savings Time. Instead, it commits to eliminating DST if both Quebec and New York State commit to doing so. Roberts's official justification is that "many people who work in Ottawa live in Quebec" and "New York is very important".

I do not know what to make of this. Some possibilities:

I do not know which of these three possibilities (if any) are actually true. I do know that even as a virtue-signalling exericise, this is a significant step forward. Because the bill passed with unanimous support, it indicates that every political party supports changing DST. If some other opportunity to change DST comes up, we can point to this bill as evidence that we should move forward.

It may be noteworthy that Roberts is a relatively young politician at age 29. I would like to believe that he is an indication of a more reasonable and less hyperpartisan politician, and that I should have faith that millenials and Gen Z will fix our broken political system. This is not true, but I would like to believe it.

Do I think we will get rid of DST? I think it will happen eventually. Yukon made the change and it was very popular. Brazil made the change (yay authoritarianism). The European Union also voted to eliminate it. I do not know whether I will live to see the change in Ontario, but I think it is on its way. Most people dislike the change, and this is low-hanging, crowd-pleasing fruit for politicians to exploit.