Time to Fall back

When we go to bed tonight, remember to set your clocks back an hour. At 2 a.m. Nov. 4 Daylight Savings Time (DST) ends.

The time change occurs Sunday at 2 a.m. when clocks roll back one hour in much of Canada, except in most of Saskatchewan, parts of northeast B.C., and small pockets of Ontario and Quebec.

When we get out of bed Sunday morning, some of us will be wondering if we gained an hour of sleep, productivity or even if the practice of changing our clocks twice a year necessary, needed or even practical in today’s world. It remains a passionate debate.

The change dates back to 1908 in Canada when the community of Port Arthur, Ont., now Thunder Bay, was the first to institute a time change. Other cities and towns soon followed, with Regina in 1914 and Winnipeg and Brandon in 1916.

Daylight savings time, when clocks are moved forward one hour ahead in the spring and set back one hour in the fall, was initiated to save energy on artificial lighting and make better use of daylight hours in Canada’s fall and summer months. DST was implemented roughly 100 years ago but conceived much earlier than that. Today DST is in use in more than 70 countries across the globe, affecting about one billion people every year. Despite the well-intentioned purposes behind DST, little evidence exists to support DST as an effective means of saving energy.

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