Alberta sees the light in synchronizing clocks

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EDMONTON, Alta. — This spring Alberta expects to become the latest province to align its daylight saving time changes with the United States.

The move will require a legislative amendment to the Daylight Saving Time Act, which will be introduced in the spring sitting of the Alberta Legislature. Beginning in 2007, if the legislation passes, Albertans will spring ahead the second Sunday in March, three weeks earlier than now. Additionally the clocks will fall back the first Sunday in November, one week later than the current standard.

Alberta is the fourth province to make the shift since the United States government decided to extend daylight saving time as part of an energy bill passed in August 2005. Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec are the other Canadian provinces that have already made the switch.

“It is important for Alberta that we maintain our competitive advantage by coordinating time changes with our major trading partner,” said Ron Stevens, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. “It is also important that we do what we can as a province to assist with conserving energy. Extended daylight hours means more natural light is available during waking hours, reducing the need for people to use artificial light.”

Stevens also noted Transport Canada has advised the extra hours of daylight would likely reduce pedestrian and motor vehicle occupant fatalities and injuries. Transport Canada cites the highest frequency of pedestrian injuries occur between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Prior to introducing the legislation, Alberta Justice, the ministry responsible for the Act, consulted all ministries and relevant stakeholders including the transportation sector. The overwhelming decision among stakeholders was to synchronize with the United States.

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