Letter: The high cost of changing the clocks

It's time to lose DST

Changing the clocks twice a year is not worth the stress, costing both lives and the taxpayer. Daylight Savings Time (DST) was initially brought in during World War 1 to minimize the use of artificial lighting, saving fuel for the war effort.

However, a lot has changed from the days where the average household’s only power consumption was lighting. With the number of appliances using power around the clock in contemporary society, the energy savings are no longer significant.

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According to Manitoba Hydro, DST does not reduce power consumption.

Research shows that the average person acquires a sleep debt lasting four to six days resulting in a spike of 20 per cent in traffic accidents, 25 per cent in heart attacks, and 8 per cent in depression and other mental health care incidents the week after the time change.

By ending DST, the Government of Manitoba would be protecting the people of Manitoba while at the same time saving money for MPIC, the health care system, and aiding the education system by not disrupting the routine of the students, leading to greater learning capacity year round.

In the fall with the hour gained, most individuals stay up later, but do not or cannot stay asleep an extra hour resulting in negative effects following the return to standard time as well.

Research also indicates that dairy producers and poultry producers suffer economic loss when the time switches both in the spring and fall because of production losses directly related to upsetting the routines of the cattle and birds. It takes up to one month to return to previous production levels.

Many areas do not switch such as Saskatchewan, Northern British Columbia, Northern Ontario, Northern Quebec, and parts of Nunavut, as well as Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, and the US Virgin Islands in the United States.

Some other locations discussing stopping the switch are California, North Dakota, Wyoming and the State of Washington. The European Union has completed a survey of 40 countries and had an 80 per cent response rate to end DST as well and now are in the process to do just that.

It is clear DST has overstayed its welcome and has no place in the modern world. If it saves lives and doesn’t cost the government anything, why hasn’t the government ended daylight savings time already?

Cliff Graydon

MLA, Emerson

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