What has been proposed as a Bill in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba has now become an Act. The official Time Amendment Act is now in place as a proactive measure to adapt to the possible change of making Daylight Saving Time permanent.
It's a result of the United States having passed the Sunshine Protection Act.
Agassiz MLA Eileen Clarke proposed the bill and also announced the Act last week.
Portage la Prairie MLA Ian Wishart explains.
"We've been changing times for a number of years, actually, here in Canada, and most of the time we're aligned with our neighbours to the South," says Wishart. "They're considering making a change to Daylight Saving Time back and forth, and if they move ahead, then we will align with them. It's more about keeping trading in north/south as equitable and easy to do as possible. Different time changes make a bit of a difference and makes it a little harder to do business back and forth across the line."
Wishart notes this has been discussed a number of times in the province, and there are positives and negatives
"I think the ability to continue doing business uninterrupted by climate change issues would be more positive," continues Wishart. "But we're going to watch what the Americans are doing and it is not a done-deal down there by any stretch of the imagination. So, we're simply putting in place legislation to allow us to do this, should that happen."
This means that permanent Daylight Saving Time would use what has been the norm of the summer, and not the winter, maintaining the longer summer light in the evenings.
The Act phrases the plan in such a way that the Province will be able to consider making the changes if the United States does, which means it maintains our sovereignty to make our own decisions. However, it seems the intention is to make the change when the United States does.