Over­whelm­ing sup­port to nix time changes

Penticton Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

VIC­TO­RIA — More than 93 per cent of re­spon­dents to a B.C. gov­ern­ment sur­vey didn’t want to turn back time in the spring.

The premier’s of­fice says 223,273 peo­ple re­sponded to the sur­vey and a strong ma­jor­ity of them sup­ported mov­ing per­ma­nently to day­light time.

With the ex­cep­tion of stu­dents, sup­port for year-round day­light time was higher than 90 per cent in all re­gions of B.C. and across all in­dus­try and oc­cu­pa­tional groups.

But 54 per cent of those sur­veyed also said it was “im­por­tant” or “very im­por­tant” that the prov­ince’s clocks align with neigh­bour­ing ju­ris­dic­tions.

In a state­ment, the premier’s of­fice says of­fi­cials in Wash­ing­ton, Ore­gon and Cal­i­for­nia are in var­i­ous stages of writ­ing or en­act­ing leg­is­la­tion to adopt year-round day­light time, but those states re­quires fed­eral ap­proval be­fore they can act.

As B.C. de­ter­mines its next steps, Premier John Hor­gan says the sur­vey re­sults will be con­sid­ered along­side re­sponses from other prov­inces and the west­ern states.

“This en­gage­ment has done ex­actly as we hoped it would in pro­vid­ing clar­ity about a pre­ferred direc­tion,” Hor­gan said in the state­ment on Tues­day.

“The in­sights gen­er­ated will be re­lied upon as we make a fi­nal de­ci­sion about how to move for­ward.”

The on­line sur­vey was con­ducted in­ter­nally by the gov­ern­ment with the aim of get­ting a wide sam­ple of feed­back.

The con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod was from June 24 to July 19.

In ad­di­tion to the com­pleted on­line sur­veys, the gov­ern­ment re­ceived 279 email sub­mis­sions from pri­vate cit­i­zens and 15 writ­ten sub­mis­sions from or­ga­ni­za­tions and ex­perts.

The sur­vey says 75 per cent of re­spon­dents iden­ti­fied health and well­ness concerns as their rea­son for want­ing to scrap the time change, but the same health rea­sons were cited by the mi­nor­ity who favoured fall­ing back and spring­ing for­ward.

Fifty-three per cent of those who sup­ported year-round day­light time men­tioned the ben­e­fit of ad­di­tional day­light dur­ing the evening com­mute in win­ter, while 39 per cent said other safety concerns were be­hind their sup­port.

The gov­ern­ment ac­knowl­edges that there are some lim­i­ta­tions with the on­line sur­vey, pri­mar­ily that re­spon­dents were re­quired to be users of the in­ter­net.

As a re­sult, the gov­ern­ment al­lowed non in­ter­net users to phone Ser­viceBC or mail in their opin­ions us­ing a down­loaded feed­back form.

The vol­un­tary na­ture of the sur­vey also means there could a self-se­lec­tion bias that sees those who hold strong views be­ing more likely to re­spond, the gov­ern­ment says.

John Hor­gan

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