There’s some hopeful news from across the border for Canadians tired of switching their clocks back and forth twice a year.
In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill, called the Sunshine Protection Act, that could make daylight time permanent next year and bring an end to the long-running bi-annual flip.
While the legislation still needs approval from the House of Representatives before President Joe Biden can sign it into law, the move is being welcomed with renewed optimism by Canadian provinces waiting to follow the lead of American states in the same time zone.
British Columbia passed legislation in 2019 to switch to daylight time permanently but did not set a date because the province wants to align the change with Washington, Oregon, and California. All three West Coast states have passed their own bills to remain permanently on daylight time.
Reacting to the U.S. Senate approval, B.C. The time changes once and for all and moves to permanent DST (daylight saving time).”
“For B.C. families who have just had to cope with the disruptions of changing the clocks, the U.S. Senate bill passed today brings us another step toward ending the time changes in our province for good,”. Said a statement from Horgan’s office emailed to Global News on Tuesday.
In 2020, Ontario tabled and unanimously passed a private members bill called the “The Time Amendment Act.” That bill amended the Time Act to make daylight saving time permanent year-round.
Ontario MPP Jeremy Roberts, who proposed the daylight saving bill, said the U.S. Senate approval was a “huge step forward.”
“We’re going to be following the U.S. progress very closely,” Roberts told Global News in a phone interview on Tuesday.
However, The Time Amendment Act is conditional upon both New York state and Quebec coming on board, he said.
“If we did this without bringing Quebec along as well, we have a weird situation where half the federal government was on one time and half on the other, folks would be missing meetings and phone calls, so I think it would just be a big logistical nightmare,” Roberts said.
“Hopefully this move by the U.S. Senate today can give us some momentum to get Quebec on board as well.”
The Quebec government has indicated it is receptive to ditching the time change. But “discussions are necessary,” said a spokesperson for the province’s minister of justice. “Quebec cannot go at it alone. If we were to move forward, it would have to be concerted action with other states neighboring Quebec. Such as Ontario,” said Élisabeth Gosselin.