British Columbia moves to introduce permanent daylight saving time

(This October 31 story corrects paragraph 5 to clarify that California has introduced legislation to move to permanent DST and not yet passed it, and sources Yukon’s plans to BC press release, para 6)

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(Reuters) - British Columbia’s government is introducing a measure that would allow the Canadian province to move onto year-round daylight saving time, the premier’s office said on Thursday.

British Columbians said in public consultations “loud and clear that they want to do away with the practice of changing our clocks twice a year,” Premier John Horgan said in a news release.

Daylight saving time (DST) is the practice of moving clocks forward an hour in March to capture more daylight during the day. The clocks then move backward in the northern hemisphere’s autumn.

The bill would not immediately move British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, over to permanent DST, but it would allow for the province to quickly switch once other governments in the region do so. Clocks in British Columbia as in other North American jurisdictions will return to standard time on Sunday.

The U.S. Pacific Coast states of Washington and Oregon have both passed similar measures and are awaiting federal government approval. Horgan cited the states’ actions as a reason for switching. California has introduced legislation to move to permanent DST.

Yukon - the Canadian territory north of British Columbia - is also considering making the change, according to the British Columbia government’s news release.

Public consultations received over 220,000 survey responses, almost 300 emails and 15 written submissions from organizations and experts.

Among those, support for permanent DST was at 90%, according to the premier’s office.

More than half of respondents said that keeping British Columbia’s time in line with that of neighboring jurisdictions was important or very important, although the bill would not require other states or territories to bring in year-round DST for the province to do so.

Reporting by Moira Warburton in Toronto; Editing by Peter Cooney