Thursday, July 21, 2005

Everybody vote! We need to save daylight!

Ontarians can vote on daylight saving change
CANADIAN PRESSOntario residents will have their say on whether the province should add two more months of daylight saving time.
The government wants to canvass opinions from residents and various sectors across the province to see what they think of extending daylight saving time — an idea being contemplated by the United States.
Ontarians can email the government to let politicians know what they think of the idea.
The email address is
Attorney General Michael Bryant said the province will do what’s right for Ontario and not simply fall in line with the United States.
“We’ll monitor what the United States does closely,” Bryant said before a cabinet meeting today.
“Our government’s going to do what’s in Ontarians’ interests, which does not necessarily mean automatically following in lockstep with the United States government’s change to daylight saving time.”
The U.S. government is considering to extend daylight saving from the first weekend in March through the last weekend in November in a bid to save energy.
Currently daylight saving in Canada and the United States runs from April through October.
The government wants to hear from all sectors — from agriculture to energy, commerce, finance, public safety, education and others, Bryant said.
Bryant’s parliamentary assistant, David Zimmer, will talk to various groups and other provincial governments to get their views and find out the positive and negative effects of this plan, he said.
If Canada and the United States aren’t in sync with their time zones it could affect a slew of Canadian operations, including airlines, manufacturers, the financial sector and television stations.
Extending daylight saving time “is not a done deal” in the United States, Bryant said, and there will be more hearings south of the border because of concerns from different groups, including parents who don’t want their children to be going off to school in the dark.
“It’s too soon to say whether this is definitely going to get through (the U.S.) Congress and the Senate,” Bryant said.
Ontario will also want to ensure that it and Quebec stay in the same time zone, Bryant said.
If the province decides to make a change it can be done through regulations and doesn’t require new legislation.
While Ontario will consult with the federal government about the issue, time is a responsibility of each province, Bryant said.
Federal Internal Trade Minister Mauril Belanger said Wednesday that it’s just as important for Canada’s provinces to be synchronized with daylight saving as it is for the country to match up with its American partners.

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