This memorial sundial to honour William Willett is in Petts Wood

Time to count the sunny hours

Daylight time begins at 2 a.m. this Sunday, March 12.

There’s been debate about the pros and cons of daylight time all the way back to when it was first thought of more than 100 years ago.

Currently, Alberta NDP MLA for Edmonton-Southwest Thomas Dang is tallying up the results of an online survey asking Albertans if they want to keep it or scrap it.

He cites the reasons as daylight time having negative effects as cited by egg farmers and families with children, who say it throws off their established routines.

Daylight time began early in the 20th century in England, when prominent Edwardian builder William Willett, a keen supporter of outdoor activities, noticed that during the summer, people were still sleeping when the sun had risen.

A successful businessman, Willett was able to sponsor his ideas and began to investigate how changing the nation’s clocks at different times of the year would create more usable daylight.

Willett published “A Waste of Daylight” in 1907 and in it suggested advancing time in four phases throughout the year.

Although his ideas caught the interest of British MPs such as Robert Pearce and Winston Churchill, the overly technical way in which he suggested the change put off many people.

The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 put a huge strain on the British national economy and the government began to look at ways to increase productivity.

This led to the 1916 adoption of British Summer Time, which the government believed would improve output in factories and reduce the amount of coal used for lighting.

Unfortunately, Willett had passed away only a year before and never saw his ideas come into practice.

Meanwhile back in Alberta, if the results of the survey prove to support his idea, Dang wants to have a bill drafted by mid-March.

If the bill is passed, then the next decision would be whether to keep Alberta on Mountain Time all year round or to be on Central Time all year round, which would put it on the same time as Saskatchewan.

with files from and

Just Posted

Highway 16 closed in both directions due to avalanche hazard

BC Highways is closing the highway between Prince Rupert and Terrace starting at 7 p.m.

Snowfall warning remains in effect

Public urged to postpone non-essential travel

Terrace to Hazelton bus service launched

First trip of BC Transit’s latest inter-community route set for Nov. 20

Snowfall warning issued for Terrace

Environment Canada expects up to 30cm by this evening

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

Most Read