(Neil Corbett/THE NEWS) The agricultural community might appreciate daylight savings time permanently in B.C.

Permanent daylight saving time suits farmer

B.C. government asking for public feedback about changing the clock

Permanent daylight saving time suits Bob Hopcott fine.

And the government wants to hear from him, as it considers changing how time is observed in B.C.

The Pitt Meadows farmer is well known for Hopcott Meats, but he is diversified with 75 acres of cranberries in addition to almost 200 acres of field corn.

Like all farmers, he needs to “make hay” while the sun shines.

“Most farmers like it right where it is right now [daylight saving time],” he said.

British Columbians are invited to share their views on daylight saving time. Most areas of B.C. “spring forward” into daylight saving time during summer months, and “fall back” to standard time in the winter.

The government is considering no longer doing the fall-back.

“As our neighbours in the western United States move toward permanent daylight saving time, it’s a good time to think about what will work best for British Columbia,” Premier John Horgan said in a release. “I invite people to consider our options and take part in an online survey that will help us decide whether to leave things as they are or if it’s time to make a change.”

Legislators in California, Oregon and Washington have proposed bills to end the bi-annual time change and observe daylight saving time year-round.

READ ALSO: B.C. MLA fights to abolish Daylight Saving Time

Hopcott is on Pitt Meadows’ agricultural advisory committee and expects that the group will discuss the government’s proposed changes and make a submission. He said other farmers might have different ideas.

“Dairy farmers are up so early in the morning – 3 or 4 a.m., milking – that it might not matter.”

But in general, Hopcott believes daylight saving time is better for anyone working outside – from farmers to construction workers – to make the best use of natural light.

The government’s online survey will be available until July 19. The survey website has background information and the impact of various options, such as changes to the timings of sunrise and sunset at different times of year.

The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete.

In addition to the online survey, organizations and individuals are invited to provide written submissions about time observance, which affects many key B.C. industries, such as agriculture and transportation.

“I know many people will have strong preferences on this complex question, and this is an opportunity to express them and help government decide our next steps,” Horgan said. “As we monitor what’s happening in other jurisdictions, I look forward to input from British Columbians on how to set our clocks throughout the year.”

Individuals may complete the online survey.

Experts and organizations may provide formal submissions via email to citizenengagement@gov.bc.ca.

A final decision is expected to be announced in the fall of 2019.

• Learn more about daylight saving time and complete the survey at engage.gov.bc.ca/daylightsavingtime/

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