This weekend could be one of the last times Ontario seasonally switches it clocks as the province considers a move to permanent daylight savings time.
On Sunday, Nov. 1, at 2 a.m. clocks will be wound back one hour to 1 a.m. Ontario’s time zone moves from Eastern Daylight Time to Eastern Standard Time.
The time adjustment, which started in 1918 in a bid to save on energy consumption, occurs in Ontario and most of Canada, except for Saskatchewan, which uses standard time year-round. British Columbia has indicated it will change to a permanent daylight savings time in coordination with the U.S. states to its south, including Washington, Oregon, and California.
Washington state and California are currently awaiting Congressional approval to switch to permanent daylight savings. Oregon is considering a similar switch. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 30 U.S. states are considering changes to the traditional seasonal time adjustment system.
Ontario could put an end to the twice-annual clock adjustments too, and permanently adopt daylight savings time if a new private member’s bill passes. Ottawa West–Nepean MPP Jeremy Roberts is promoting The Time Amendment Act, a bill that would implement permanent daylight savings time for the province.
The bill has the support of the Ontario government and passed the second reading in the legislature at Queen’s Park.
If the bill becomes law, it would stay lighter longer in the evening throughout the entire year. However, during the winter the sun would not rise until 9 a.m. around Christmas time in southern Ontario. The commute to school and work for many people would be in darkness.
There is a caveat to the tabled bill. Ontario would only adopt the measure if the state of New York and the province of Quebec also made the same change. (Both have shown interest in changing current time adjustments.) Ontario would need to synchronized time with its biggest geographic neighbors to avoid confusion and disruption to trade and travel.