Ontario Chooses Permanent Daylight Time:
I am thrilled to announce that on Monday November 30th, my Bill ending the Time Change in Ontario, was signed into law by the Lieutenant Governor after passing through final reading with unanimous support in the Legislature. Ontario is now poised to lead the way on ending this outdated practice.
Why was this bill introduced?
Recent studies have suggested that the time change may be causing much more harm than good. A series of studies have found a number of side effects that come with the change including increased depressions levels, a 24% increase in heart attacks, and an increase in accidents.
On the flip side, permanent Daylight Time will likely generate more economic activity. A JP Morgan Chase study found a decrease of 3.5% in retail activity following the “fall back” change. This is backed up by a Massachusetts Commission report that also found that “year-round DST would positively impact consumer spending” because of the “additional evening daylight.”
79% of the world does not follow this practice, and according to a recent study, 85% of Canadians support moving to permanent Daylight Time. I am proud that Ontario has decided to be at the forefront of this change in Canada. But, there are two factors which had to be considered beforehand.
First, we would want to do the change in coordination with the state of New York. Ontario benefits from sharing the same time zone as the markets in New York City. It is in our best interest to preserve this commonality.
Second, Ontario should not implement this without Quebec. While Ottawa is the nation’s capital, much of the federal government’s workforce is spread out across both downtown Ottawa and Gatineau. It would be logistically difficult for the federal government to be in two time zones. Luckily, the Premier of Quebec has already indicated a willingness to work together on this.
Because of these considerations, my bill would only come into effect at the discretion of Ontario’s Attorney General, allowing us to work with our neighbouring jurisdictions and get them onboard.
I want to thank the hundreds of people who contacted my office to voice their support for my bill. Many of you also made submissions at the Committee stage, and that was greatly appreciated. We also received support from Ontario’s business leaders. In addition to the Ontario BIA Association, we received endorsements from 14 local chambers of commerce & boards of trade from across Ontario.
I look forward now to reaching out to counterparts in Quebec and New York to get them on board this exciting initiative