Master of Time: Sanford Fleming, inventor of Canada’s six time zones.

Master of Time: Sanford Fleming, inventor of Canada’s six time zones.

(Sigh) Remember to set your clocks forward

Once again we are forced to move our clocks ahead. Plus, a brief history of Daylight Savings Time in the East Kootenay

For those of you who like to stay up late to witness the clock springing forward, this weekend is for you.

That’s right — as of 2 a.m., Sunday, March 14, Daylight Savings Time begins and the days will seem to last forever (so remember to turn your clocks ahead).

We all agree that the clock “springing forward” is psychologically more harsh than “falling back.” We lose an hour of sleep, which takes a full two seasons to catch up on.

But we are used to it by now — since 1952, anyway, when 53.6 per cent of British Columbians voted in favour of adopting Daylight Savings Time (Creston, our time-standing-still neighbour to the west, ignored the results of this plebescite).

Still, it hardly seems fair: B.C. has recently passed legislation outlining a plan to switch to “Pacific Standard Time.” This has since been put on hold because of the pandemic.

But even so, the new legislation wouldn’t even apply to us, here in the East Kootenay, labouring under the dictats of Mountain Time. So while the rest of “British California” puts an end to all this to’ing and fro’ing of the clock twice a year, we in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains are still subject to the whimsical, arbitrary, unnatural tyrannies of the damnéd clock — a human creation that we are now enslaved to (not to get too overwrought about it).

Perhaps it’s our own fault. We kept voting for Daylight Savings Time in plebescites. And when we finally got around to voting against it (in 2019), we in the East Kootenay will have to keep moving the clocks back and forth while the rest of the province can put it all in the past — like a bad dream they had while getting that extra hour sleep in the Fall, when the clocks “fell back.” (That will be on November 1 — I say start preparing for that now.)

By the way, Canada’s six time zones, and the East Kootenay’s placement in the Mountain Zone, are based on proposals by Scottish Canadian railway engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, who helped pioneer the world’s time zone system.

British Columbia’s clocks first sprang forward on April 14, 1918, with the national Daylight Savings Time Act. The act was allowed to lapse after World War I, re-legislated for World War II, then left up to the provinces after the war — hence the Plebescite of ‘52, ignored by Creston.

In the democratic year of ‘72, another poll was held for the folks of the East Kootenay (including Creston) and the Peace district, asking everyone if they wanted to switch to the Pacific Time Zone. In Kootenay East the No’s took it 2,842 to 1,779 (the vote in Creston was a tie. Leo Nimsick was also returned as the NDP MLA in the concurrent provincial election).

In 2007, B.C. switched the time change to the second Sunday in March, to keep aligned with changes in the U.S. It’s estimated B.C. has saved pennies a day in power usage with this move.

And in 2014, Ron Toyota, Mayor of Creston, blue-skied the idea of another time referendum to get Creston in line with everybody else. The idea didn’t really get off the ground; everyone knew it was doomed to failure.

And of course, most recently, a 2019 survey found that most British Columbians favoured legislation that would allow us — most of us — to observe Daylight Savings Time permanently. But as mentioned above, one doesn’t give something up to our powerful Clock overlord and then take it away so easily.

So here’s to waking up groggy on Sunday morning, and staying that way until November 1.

Barry Coulter is the Editor of the Cranbrook Townsman and East Kootenay Advertiser

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

BGC Cranbrook will renovate a facility to relocate 24 existing spaces and add 24 new spaces with support from the Trust. Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Trust.
Grant funding to help create new childcare spaces in Cranbrook

Columbia Basin Trust providing $10,000 to BGC Cranbrook to help renovate new facility

Earlier this spring, the City of Cranbrook started positioning components of the Stormceptor system to carry storm runoff to Elizabeth Lake from the Innes Avenue neighbourhood. Photo submitted
Stormceptor will bring clean run-off to Elizabeth Lake

The City of Cranbrook is installing new infrastructure to handle the Innes Avenue neighbourhood, but go easy on Elizabeth lake

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Interior Health hospitals not strained by rising COVID case counts

While provincial hospitalizations rise, health care systems in the B.C. Interior remain robust, say officials

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read