LILLEY: Time to stop changing the clocks

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Did you remember to set your clock back this weekend? Or were you supposed to put the clocks forward?

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It’s tough to remember with this bizarre ritual we have of changing our clocks twice a year to fool our bodies but it really is time that we stopped it.

We’ve only been playing make believe with this ludicrous clock changing scheme for the last century or so. For millennia before, human beings did quite well without having to pretend it was a different time than it actually was.

I remember being told as a child that we change the clocks in the spring and in the fall to help farmers. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found out this was the furthest thing from the truth.

It shouldn’t be a shock that we can’t get the story straight since so many of us can’t get the name straight — it’s daylight saving time, not savings.

But back to the farms.

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The heartland of Canada’s agriculture sector doesn’t even follow DST. Saskatchewan has refused to implement the sleep torturing regime and let me tell you, if you haven’t been there, the place has a lot of farms.

  1. Steve Thamer, a voiceover narrator and prog-rock musician, sits outside on Queen St. E. in The Beach enjoying a sunny fall day on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021.

    All wound up about clock change

  2. Ontarians will wind back the clock an hour to standard time on Nov. 7 and then turn it forward again on March 13.

    A hitch in time plan — Daylight Savings Time sticking around

  3. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning.

    Time changes in spring and fall not good for our health: York prof

DST also isn’t followed in parts of Northern Ontario, parts of Eastern Quebec or the Peace River region in British Columbia. In the United States, Arizona, Hawaii and Puerto Rico are all smart enough not to mess with time and sleep patterns.

In fact, most of the world doesn’t follow this masochistic practice.

Few countries in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean or South America use DST and neither do Russia, Belarus, Iceland or Turkey.

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The original idea for DST was to preserve energy by having waking hours match sunlight hours. We are a much different society than we were a century ago, not as industrial, not as reliant on coal — which was the energy source they were trying to preserve.

We no longer need to follow the clock change, especially considering the harms it causes.

As my colleague Scott Laurie reports , the idea that we have more mishaps and get into more traffic collisions isn’t just a feeling you get. It’s backed up by police data and research by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation.

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That should be reason enough for us to ditch the twice a year torture of the time change, the seemingly simple act that in fact gives many of us jet lag for days and leads to more accidents.

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The Ontario legislature did support a bill to do away with the time change, but the province won’t move unless neighbouring jurisdictions and major trading partners like Quebec and New York also go along. Maybe we should start awareness campaigns there?

The last time we adjusted daylight saving time was in 2005 when the American Congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 by extending the practice two weeks earlier and two weeks later. Canadian jurisdictions following DST followed suit and the change went into effect in 2007.

If we really want to do away with this useless and outdated practice, it’s going to take bold and unilateral action by provincial leadership or a campaign to convince Americans that it’s time to end DST.

My suggestion is to start calling politicians over the next few days when we are still tired and grumpy from the time change. Who’s with me?

Blilley@postmedia.com

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