Committee votes to kill bill aimed at changing Daylight Saving Time in Alberta
A legislative committee has decided to abandon a bill that proposed changes to Daylight Saving Time in Alberta but the premier says the debate is not over.
On Tuesday, the legislative committee was unanimous in its decision to keep the clocks the same all year.
Thousands of Albertans weighed in on the private member's bill that was introduced in the spring by NDP backbencher Thomas Dang and about 75 percent were in favour of getting rid of the time change.
Many said sticking to one time would be convenient but some businesses, like the Calgary Airport Authority and Alberta’s two NHL teams have voiced opposition to the change.
“It’s actually fantastic news. There was a lot of concern with changing our time that would have put us out of sync from international, global businesses so it’s really important for us to make sure that we stay competitive by staying current and with the rest of Canada,” said Jody Mosely, Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Calgary Airport Authority.
The committee decided that the impact on Alberta businesses would be too much, especially in the current economic climate.
"That (impact on business) is certainly not something we want to see happen," said NDP member Karen McPherson. "We certainly don't want to see that happen at this time in our province's history when the economy is front of mind for many, many people."
Premier Rachel Notley says the issue is not dead and that more research needs to be done.
“The matter is still going to come to the legislature for debate,” she said. “The committee heard from a lot of Albertans. Quite honestly, for a leg committee to get as many responses as that committee did shows that Albertans actually have a vested interest in this and seem to care about this matter a great deal. So I think we have to make a well researched decision though and so there was some good comments, good considerations that were raised about economic impact and so I think it’s important for us to dig into that a bit more so we’ll see where it ends up.”
She says the issue requires further discussion and that it is still an open vote in the legislature.
“I look forward to people raising their concerns during the debate in the legislature and Albertans continuing to make their views known,” she said. “Notwithstanding the recommendations of the committee, I think it’s still an open topic for when it does come back into the house.”
All legislative members will have to sign off on the committee’s recommendation in order to kill the bill when the house resumes next month.
(With files from The Canadian Press)