Last fall, B.C.’s provincial government introduced legislation to scrap the seasonal adjustment, but also made it clear B.C. wanted to stay in tune with Washington, Oregon and California.
Those states need approval of the U.S. Congress to stay with daylight time year-round, and that’s appearing unlikely to happen given that it is a U.S. election year and the U.S. House of Representatives has other priorities.
But Premier John Horgan hinted Wednesday that B.C. might go it alone because there was an overwhelming public demand to stick with daylight time year-round, leaving the U.S. West Coast to catch up later.
“In our consultation there was a desire, a majority, that we work in lockstep with our neighbours to the south, but we’re not bound by that,” he said Wednesday. “I’m going to engage what people have to say about it.”
For now, the B.C. plan for November is to follow its trading partners down the coast back to standard time, for at least one more year.
“We also heard from British Columbians that they felt that having the same time zone as our current neighbours — Washington state, Oregon and California — was the best way to go,” he said in the legislature last week.
Washington and Oregon have already committed to year-round daylight time, and a majority of Californian voters support the move, but now that move does not appear imminent.
“It’s fairly apparent as we’re into the height of election 2020 in the United States that Congress is not likely to approve the legislation that has been passed by Washington and Oregon,” Horgan said Wednesday.
A 2007 public consultation found that only 10 per cent of British Columbians wanted to end the longstanding annual time changes. But a 2019 public consultation saw 93 per cent of respondents support daylight time in perpetuity.
—With files from The Canadian Press