An Aurora Ford employee has launched a petition calling for the end of Daylight Saving Time in the NWT.

Jennifer Coleman has launched a petition against Daylight Saving Time in the NWT. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

“I have never really liked the idea and this year I decided to just put up or shut up, basically,” said Jennifer Coleman. “Do something about it. Rather than complain, be involved. So that’s why I decided to just start the petition.”

Coleman noted she is not the first person in the NWT to launch a petition against Daylight Saving Time, pointing out a petition earlier this year collected more than 500 signatures.

The petitioner noted that she and some co-workers were talking about Daylight Saving Time before it ended for the year on Nov. 5.

“Whenever it happens, I think this is so silly,” she said. “Why do we keep doing this? So this year I just decided I’ll try something.”

Coleman believes Daylight Saving Time is particularly useless in the NWT.

“I just feel like it’s a practice that doesn’t really benefit us in the North because we’re above the 60th,” she explained. “We have almost 24-hour daylight in the summer, regardless of an extra hour, and it’s dark all winter, regardless of an extra hour in the morning. We still need the artificial light in the morning to get going.”

Coleman noted research has found both pros and cons to Daylight Saving Time, but studies also show there is a negligible benefit to the economy.

The 34-year-old said it appears most of Canada uses Daylight Saving Time simply because it is following the United States.

The earlier 500-name petition was presented to the legislative assembly in March, and a report on the petition by the Standing Committee on Social Development was presented on Oct. 19.

“Essentially what they said is that we’re so interconnected with Alberta that, unless they make the change, it would cause too many problems for us to make the change,” said Hay River North MLA R.J. Simpson.

Asked if the petition launched by Coleman might have any more luck in changing that opinion, Simpson said, “Well, I guess it depends on how many signatures it has. If we keep getting these petitions and they keep amassing a lot of signatures, then maybe it will lead to something.”

The MLA himself is not a supporter of Daylight Saving Time.

“I think it’s an outdated idea,” he said. “We should probably end it everywhere, but that would take a huge effort on the part of basically all of Canada and the United States and the rest of the world.”

In general, Simpson encouraged people to sign petitions.

“It’s a great way for the public to get their voice out there,” he said.

Coleman doesn’t share the concern of the legislative assembly about the NWT becoming out of sync with Alberta if Daylight Saving Time is abandoned.

“I think that we’re intelligent enough if this passes to know Alberta might be an hour ahead or an hour behind,” she said. “I believe that Alberta was actually looking at this, as well.”

As of Nov. 10, Coleman had collected 39 names on her petition.

“The response has been pretty good,” she said.

Coleman plans to keep the petition open until March, just before the beginning of Daylight Saving Time for 2018.

And she hopes her petition can eventually attract around 500 names.

“I do have hope that our government will consider what the people want,” Coleman said. “Of course, I always have hope because they work for us, not the other way around. In reality, it’s hard to say.”

Daylight Saving Time is used in various parts of the world.

It first was adopted in Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1916.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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