A couple of days ago most of North America and Europe, and many countries on other continents, moved their clocks ahead one hour. Not Saskatchewan though. And we won’t be doing so for the foreseeable future, since there won’t be a referendum on Saskatchewan adopting Daylight Saving Time. I guess it was a pragmatic decision, since multiple polls showed that about two thirds of Saskatchewan residents are happy with the status quo while only one third – including me – would like to see DST adopted. I’m all for pragmatism so I’m not going to tear into the current government for breaking its promise to hold a referendum on the issue. After all why waste hundreds of thousands of tax dollars on asking a question when the answer is a foregone conclusion?
However I do admit that I’m disappointed. Why? Not so much because I’d rather have sunshine at 10:00 p.m. when I might still be sitting on my back deck than at 4:00 a.m. when I’m trying to sleep. After all it is a fact that Saskatchewan ought to be in the Mountain Standard Time zone, so being in the Central Standard Time zone essentially puts us on DST year-round.
My concern relates more to how Saskatchewan relates to the rest of North America and Europe. While changing my clocks twice a year would be a minor annoyance, trying to remember how many hours we are ahead or behind other places that I communicate with is a major annoyance. This is especially important to businesses with clients outside of the province.
And travel. Like the trip to Ontario several years ago when I missed a connecting flight in Winnipeg because I overlooked the fact that Manitoba had sprung an hour ahead of Saskatchewan a few days earlier. I understand that I shouldn’t have assumed that my watch showed the correct local time even though we are both in the same time zone, and I should have looked at one of the clocks in the airport, and I should have listened to the announcements on the PA system, but if Saskatchewan had sprung ahead in unison with Manitoba, I’d have been on that plane. Luckily Air Canada put me on the next flight and my meeting wasn’t until the next morning so it didn’t ruin my trip, but it did make the DST issue personal for me. And no, I can’t let it go.