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Opinion: 6 reasons why we need Daylight Saving Time in Alberta

Every time we get to the spring ahead portion of Daylight Saving Time (DST), the debate rages on in Alberta (and elsewhere) over whether we should be doing it at all.

Alberta NDP MLA Thomas Dang tried to push this ball forward back in 2017, before the private members bill (Bill 203) died in a blaze of sunlit glory.

Even the social media polls that LiveWire Calgary put out on our social media platforms the Sunday following the most recent time switch showed that nearly 70 per cent of people are against the change.

I get it. Sort of.  I understand why the spring ahead and the abolition of one hour in our day draws the ire of those looking for a Sunday morning sleep in. I also understand the dubious claim of energy savings. I also understand the impact it has on people from a physiological sense.

Let me make the case, however, for why we SHOULD have daylight savings time, or as @virtuous_sloth said to me on Twitter – “You could keep DST all year.”

  1. I find short days a drag.

I’m just not a winter person. I never have been, really. I like the 16 hours of sunshine in summer. I find having half the time in winter is, well, depressing.

2. Few would use the extra hour of daylight in the morning.

Come on folks, if you actually think that people would use the 4:30 a.m. sunrise to their advantage, you’re fooling yourself. Instead, the same people whinging over the loss of an hour of sleep with DST would be cheesed the sunlight is flooding their bedrooms at that ungodly hour.

3. Bragging to out-of-towners that the sun doesn’t set until 10 p.m.

Most of us have said that at least once in a badge-of-honour sort of way. Edmontonians even get to say ‘after-10.’ There’s a certain prestige that goes with this.

4. Starting a golf game at 6 p.m.

I’m a proud golfer. There’s nothing better than getting a game in at night, when it’s a little cooler, but still warm enough to hit the links in a T-shirt. While I love golf, I don’t ever see myself booking at time at 4:45 a.m. (see point number 2.)

5. Embrace changing the clocks. Embrace it.

There’s nothing like that sense of accomplishment that you’re literally getting ahead of things when you go around the house and change all of the clocks BEFORE daylight saving time hits. That’s just being prudent, so you don’t wake up and go “oh s—t, it’s 9 a.m.!” I stride around, chest thrust out as I tackle the responsibility of making sure we’re all still on time the following morning.

6. Patio time.

Calgary loves its patio time. In the dead of winter, we praise the Chinook days where we can get out on the Ship and Anchor patio (or your favourite establishment) in +5 Celsius weather – in our Bermuda shorts and sandals with socks – usually mocking Torontonians while we imbibe in local craft brews.

      6a.)  Personal patio time.

This is your awwwwwweeee moment.  We have a west-facing backyard and a nice patio set up. My wife and I like to grab a cold beer from the fridge and sit out there from 9 until 10 or 10:30 p.m. (just as the bats start to come out) enjoying the last light of the day.

You might ask… Why don’t you do that at 8 p.m.? Well, the kids are just going to bed. My wife doesn’t get home from work until 8:30 p.m.  So, by the time the house settles down it’s 9 p.m.

That’s our time together. That’s where we talk about the day. The future.  Us.

Those are pretty convincing reasons, right? I mean, I should have prefaced this by telling you that my favourite days of the year are winter and summer solstice. Winter solstice because this tells me the days are soon going to get longer. Summer solstice because it’s a 16 hour, 33 minute and 1 second long day.

Case closed.

Daylight Saving Time has to stay.