Time running out on Mountain Standard Time in Alberta?

Alberta should become a national leader in abandoning the practice of changing our clocks twice a year, Neil Hollands told a public hearing in Edmonton.

“I could see Alberta being a leader in doing that,” he told the hearing at the Federal Building Tuesday. “One of the problems with Alberta just doing it is that it does put us out of sync for half the year with some of the other jurisdictions.”

Hollands said he’d like to see a national discussion on time changes.

“Changing the clocks twice a year is like going back to an archaic requirement that was probably good 40-50 years ago,” he said.

The provincial government is considering abandoning time changes which would leave Alberta on Mountain Daylight Time year round, though the time zone would be renamed to Alberta Standard Time.

Alberta Standard Time would put the province two hours ahead of British Columbia in the winter and one hour behind Ontario.

Graham Sucha

MLA Graham Sucha says holding a referendum on daylight saving time could cost up to $20 million. (CBC)

“We’re hearing comments all over the place,” said Graham Sucha, MLA for Calgary Shaw and the chair of the Economic Committee on Alberta’s Future which is hosting the hearings.

Holly Toker told the committee she’s in favour of keeping things the way they are.

Getting her two children to school in the winter is much easier when there’s daylight in the morning.

“They wake up better, just like everyone, when there’s light,” she said. “I feel it’s more important to have light in the morning than to have that extra hour in the evening.”

Toker also holds a driver’s license that restricts her to driving during daylight.

“If it’s not light until 9:30 in the morning, I won’t be able to take my kids to school,” she said. “It’s going to be harder to get myself to work.”

Neil Hollands

Neil Hollands calls the twice-yearly time change archaic. (CBC)

The public hearings move to Calgary and Lethbridge later this week.

Sucha said a referendum on daylight time would cost a minimum of $6 million if done at the same time as an election and over $20 million if held on its own.

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