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Albertans want to eliminate daylight saving time, here's why

Leeanna McLean
Digital Reporter

Thursday, August 10, 2017, 6:18 PM - Thousands of Albertans want to put a stop to daylight saving time, according to a recent poll conducted by the Standing Committee on Alberta's Economic Future.

Over 13,500 residents made written submissions about their opinions on Bill 203, otherwise known as the Alberta Standard Time Act. The bill was first introduced in early April.

About 74 per cent (10,090) of submissions were in favour of eliminating daylight saving time, with 24 per cent (3,271) opposed to the bill. One per cent (201) were undecided.

"We broke a record for the amount of feedback that the legislative assembly's received on any topic," Graham Sucha, MLA for Calgary-Shaw told CBC.

RELATED: Daylight saving time increases the risk of stroke, study 

The Alberta Standard Time Act proposes to remove the time change in Alberta, so that the province would be six hours behind co-ordinated universal time (UTC-6) all year round.

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"The proposed bill... would basically create Alberta standard time that would parallel us with the province of Saskatchewan," Sucha told the news agency.

Biannual clock changes often come with angry phone calls and emails from residents, Sucha told CBC.

"We typically get quite a few emails from people wanting us to change and reform this," he said. "This is a topic that's very important to Albertans."

The committee must report its recommendations regarding the bill to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta by October 4. Four public consultations will be held in the fall in Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge and Grande Prairie, according to Sucha.

While many are in favour of the act, companies like WestJet have expressed their opposition due to the "potential negative impact" it would have on the company's hub strategy in the province.

"Guests departing British Columbia at 0600 to make an onward connection in Calgary or Edmonton will now have to depart at 0500," WestJet's submission reads. "As you can appreciate flight departures at 0500 are unappealing to most travellers and many may choose alternate routings that bypass flying through Alberta to get to their final destination. This connecting traffic is foundational to the growth of Westjet’s Calgary hub and continued expansion in Edmonton."

If passed, the province would nix daylight saving time starting November 2, 2018.

SOURCE: CBCSummary of stakeholder submissions | Summary of written submissions 

WATCH BELOW: While changing your clocks, it's a good time to check your smoke alarm

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