It is 8 a.m. Friday and the phone rings. It’s Ron Toyota, the mayor of Creston. He explains he didn’t mean to phone the Observer quite so early.
It’s 9 a.m. in Creston and he’d forgotten that Salmon Arm has just changed to Daylight Saving Time – a timely illustration why he’s not thrilled with Creston’s habit of following Mountain Standard Time.
Unlike most of the province, Creston doesn’t switch to Daylight Saving, so part of the year its clocks match those in Calgary and the other part, Vancouver.
Several towns in the Peace River Regional District such as Chetwynd, Fort St. John and Tumbler Ridge also stay on Mountain Standard Time but, unlike Creston, they’re not stranded in time.
“It’s confusing,” Toyota says, giving the example of the regional hospital in Cranbrook 100 kilometres away. “We’re in between the time changes, so depending on the time of year you go, you could miss your medical appointment.”
However, Toyota’s view isn’t unanimous. A couple of years ago the city considered doing an opinion poll, but it didn’t fly. He explains 15,000 people reside in the Creston Valley while there are only 5,000 in Creston.
“Unless you get a consensus from everybody, you can’t forward it to the B.C. government.”
Recently, many people have been lobbying to have Daylight Saving Time relegated to a dark place in the past.
Salmon Arm’s Glen Jackson is one. His letter expressing opposition to the twice-a-year change was forwarded to city council.
“I’m sick and tired of this time change thing,” he told the Observer. “It’s really hard on animals and it’s really hard on people.”
He notes that he and his spouse have owned lots of pets, and the time change always throws them for a loop.
“It’s a routine for them. An hour might not be much, but when you look at it from their perspective, it’s a big change in their life… They’re innocent animals and they don’t understand.”
He assumes it must play havoc with children as well.
Jackson also points out that his spouse works a night shift, so loses an hour of pay when the time changes. Because her shifts change, she doesn’t get it back when the time reverts.
Johnson doesn’t care if the community stays on Pacific or Mountain time, just as long as it stays.
He’ll be signing an online petition that a Kamloops resident started, which already has about 23,000 signatures. It can be found at the change.org website under Stop the Time Change in British Columbia.
Jackson thinks even a regional zone would be an improvement.
“If Kamloops is on the bandwagon, I don’t see why Enderby, Kelowna and Vernon wouldn’t want to get on this too.”