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Poll: Time Change This Sunday

Three years have elapsed since the Ontario legislature voted in favour of abolishing the biannual clock adjustments, yet Ontarians are still preparing to set their clocks back by an hour this coming Sunday.

The end of daylight saving time is marked on November 5 at 2 a.m., prompting clocks to retreat by an hour, which results in earlier sunrises and sunsets by the same margin. (Devices connected to WIFI are expected to update automatically.)

The abrupt shift in time can be jarring for many, but the anticipated end to the time changes has not yet materialized.

Should Ontario Go Alone and Abolish the Time Changes?

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In 2020, Ontario’s lawmakers reached a consensus to end the practice of switching between standard time and daylight saving time, a decision that was met with cross-party approval. The legislation, if enacted, would render the semi-annual time shifts obsolete. However, the question remains: Why does the practice of “falling back” in November and “springing forward” in March persist?

Peter Graefe, a political science associate professor at McMaster University, explained that while Ontario has the autonomy to establish daylight saving time as the new standard, such a change is improbable without corresponding actions from neighboring regions, particularly the United States.

“The challenge lies in the need for collective action; it’s difficult to make such a change in isolation,” Graefe remarked.

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A solo move could lead to complexities in trade both within the country and across the border, potentially inflating costs for businesses in Ontario.

Moreover, Graefe suggested that even if Ontario decided to independently adopt permanent daylight saving time, it’s doubtful that this decision would significantly influence voter behavior in an election.

“It’s questionable whether any government would want to invest political capital in such a change, considering it’s likely to be overlooked by the time the next election comes around,” he observed.

Earlier in the year, as the spring time change approached, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio reintroduced legislation to establish daylight saving time year-round in the U.S.

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“The biannual ritual of clock adjustment is senseless,” declared the Florida Republican in a press statement. “There is overwhelming bipartisan and public support for ‘locking the clock’. I am hopeful that in this session of Congress, we can finally accomplish this.”

The proposal to make daylight saving time permanent has seen support from lawmakers across the political spectrum in the U.S., yet no significant legislative changes have been made to date.

While the time changes remain in effect for the foreseeable future, residents in Ontario are advised to use this opportunity to inspect and replace batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

According to the Hamilton Fire Department, over half of the residential fires in the city last year occurred in homes without functioning smoke alarms.

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