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Alberta, Canada & DST

Alberta - Legislation proposed to align AB time with USA

2 February 2006 - Government of Alberta

Edmonton , AB, Canada: Alberta intends to put some extra spring in its step as it falls in with changes extending daylight saving time.

The move will require a legislative amendment to the Daylight Saving Time Act, which will be introduced in the spring sitting of the Alberta Legislature. Beginning in 2007, if the legislation passes, Albertans will spring ahead the second Sunday in March, three weeks earlier than now. Additionally we will fall back the first Sunday in November, one week later than now.

Alberta is the fourth province to make the shift since the United States government decided to extend daylight saving time as part of an energy bill passed in August 2005.

"It is important for Alberta that we maintain our competitive advantage by coordinating time changes with our major trading partner," said Ron Stevens, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. "It is also important that we do what we can as a province to assist with conserving energy. Extended daylight hours means more natural light is available during waking hours, reducing the need for people to use artificial light. "

Stevens also noted Transport Canada has advised that the extra hours of daylight would likely reduce pedestrian and motor vehicle occupant fatalities and injuries. Transport Canada cites the highest frequency of pedestrian injuries occur between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Prior to introducing the legislation, Alberta Justice - the ministry responsible for the Act - consulted all ministries and relevant stakeholders including the agriculture, education, energy, finance and transportation sectors. The overwhelming decision among stakeholders was to synchronize with the United States.

For example, the finance sector noted that banking, money market and investment operations deal with Toronto and New York based institutions everyday, and already face deadlines for settling transactions based on the hours banks and other financial institutions close in the east. Stakeholders in the agricultural sector suggested that coordinating time changes would be helpful in the transportation of live animals and perishable food at border crossings. The transportation industry expressed concern over the impact on flight schedules if other jurisdictions do not implement the time change.

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