Why Minister Glubish Choose Permanent Daylight Saving Time

We offered documentation and virtual meetings to show why permanent Standard Time—not permanent DST—is in Albertans’ best interests. Nate Glubish’s response to us appears below.

Save Standard Time is a political advocacy nonprofit working for the public well-being throughout North America. We communicate with policymakers, journalists, other nonprofits, and the general public, to raise awareness of the need to reject permanent Daylight Saving Time (DST) and to restore permanent Standard Time.

Longitudinally correct, permanent Standard Time approximates solar time on a global scale to minimize circadian misalignment for best health, safety, education, economy, environment, and civil liberties.

DST darkens mornings and forces early waking. Its circadian misalignment deprives sleep, reduces alertness and immunity, increases accidents and disease, lowers productivity and wages. Its chronic harm is worst when extended permanently into winter (when we biologically need more sleep, and there is less sunlight to shift around the clock). DST is promoted by lobbyists for retail, golf, and tourism.

Every organization for the public well-being to address this issue opposes permanent DST and endorses permanent Standard Time, including the Canadian Sleep Society, Association of Canadian Ergonomists, Canadian Society for Chronobiology, and dozens more in the US and around the world.

In 2019, the Honourable Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and the Honourable Minister of Service Nate Glubish (both of the United Conservative Party) held an online poll to ask citizens if they might prefer permanent DST over the status quo of biannual clock change. The poll did not offer the third option of permanent Standard Time (the option backed by science and history). Its resultant 91% support in reality shows only support for ending clock change, not specifically for permanent DST.

In mid-July, Premier Kenney announced a voter referendum to end clock change, scheduled for October 18. Initial reports did not state if permanent DST or permanent Standard Time would be specified. Save Standard Time’s founder and president, Jay Pea, phoned and emailed Kenney’s and Glubish’s offices to request clarification and provide evidence against permanent DST and for permanent Standard Time.

Dear Mr Premier,

Kindly may I ask please whether the wording of your proposed referendum to end clock change in Alberta has yet been finalized?

My nonprofit has seen conflicting news reports of the referendum favoring permanent Daylight Saving Time, permanent Standard Time, or neither.

Please find attached a sampling of document to introduce the many scientific, medical, economic, and historical reasons to reject permanent DST and to restore permanent Standard Time.

Thank you in advance for clarifying this matter.

Sincerely,

Jay Pea
Save Standard Time

Cc: Minister Glubish

We received no reply. Within days, the wording was announced. Again, a false dilemma of only permanent DST versus biannual clock change would be presented (and an emotional appeal to “summer hours” would be included). Albertans would be denied the right to vote for healthier, safer, natural Standard Time.

We followed this announcement with an invitation to Kenney’s and Glubish’s offices to a virtual meeting with doctors of health science, local to Alberta, to discuss the need to amend from permanent DST to permanent Standard Time. Further print materials were also provided.

Dear Minister Glubish,

May I schedule a video/zoom meeting between a medical scientist and you or a member of your staff, to discuss the upcoming referendum on ending clock change?

We would like to bring to your attention the strong body of evidence supporting the international consensus that permanent DST chronically deprives sleep, and permanent Standard Time is best for health, safety, education, economy, and environment.

I would be glad to make arrangements whenever is best for your schedule.

Thanks very much for your assistance, and for your service to the public.

Sincerely,

Jay Pea
Save Standard Time
[The same message content was emailed separately to Premier Kenney.]

Finally we received the following response from the Honourable Minister Nate Glubish.

Dear Mr. Pea:

Premier Jason Kenney forwarded your email to me regarding daylight saving time in Alberta. As the Minister of Service Alberta, I appreciate the opportunity to respond on behalf of Premier Kenney.

Daylight saving time is an important topic to many Albertans, which is why we asked Albertans what they think using an online survey in November 2019. Our survey received more than 141,000 responses, indicating that roughly 91 per cent of Albertans would prefer to stay on summer hours year‑round, rather than change their clocks twice a year. This government also conducted additional consultations with members of the business community to learn how potential time changes may impact businesses throughout the province.

As Premier Kenney announced on July 15, 2021, Alberta will hold a referendum during the October 18, 2021 municipal election, which will include a question on daylight saving time. As this province first adopted daylight saving time following a plebiscite in 1971, we owe it to Albertans to give them the same opportunity to make their voices heard today, now that we are considering another change.

Any decision made needs to balance the will of Albertans, the concerns of the business community, and the larger context of what other governments are considering and being in sync with them. Across Canada and the United States, many governments are bringing forward legislation to move to permanent daylight saving time, also known as summer hours. For example, British Columbia and Ontario have already passed legislation to stay on permanent summer hours, although they will only bring that legislation into force when neighbouring states or provinces also follow suit.

Saskatchewan has not followed daylight saving time since 1966 and instead follows Central Standard Time all year round, which based on their geographical location, is the equivalent of permanent daylight time.

In the United States, up to 31 states have had debates, or are debating, if they should stay on permanent summer hours. Of those states, 17 have passed legislation or a resolution to adopt daylight saving time permanently, including Montana, Washington, and Oregon.

In recognizing this growing trend in support of daylight saving time, it is time to revisit this issue during the October 2021 referendum.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important issue.

Sincerely,

Honourable Nate Glubish
Minister of Service Alberta

cc: Honourable Jason Kenney
Premier of Alberta

We were grateful to receive insight into the minister’s thinking. But naturally we were disappointed with the content of his answer. Of particular concern was the lack of any mention of public health, safety, and education (among other troubling details). We provided the following reply.

Dear Minister Glubish,

We appreciate your expressed interest in hearing the will of Albertans. But neither your online survey nor your referendum permit any expression of support for permanent Standard Time. May I ask please why that is?

We appreciate your wish to be able to synchronize with the United States. But many states are considering both permanent DST and permanent Standard Time. No states are on permanent DST, and two states are on permanent Standard Time. Permanent DST is forbidden by the Uniform Time Act, while permanent Standard Time is federally pre-approved. May I ask why you would not permit your province both permanent options?

We appreciate your concern for business. However, permanent DST’s artificial delay of sunrise and sunset is found to increase healthcare costs ($2.35B annually in the US),* decrease productivity (4.4M work days, $613M annually in the US),* and decrease wages (3.0–4.9%).* May I ask please how that is good for business?

Furthermore, may I ask please where is your concern for public health, safety, and education (which are best served by permanent Standard Time)?

Thank you again, Mr Minister, for your willingness to dialogue. I would be glad to host a virtual meeting between a member of your staff and an expert in biology local to Alberta, at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Jay Pea
Save Standard Time

*Sources:

Gibson & Shrader (2015). “Time Use and Productivity: The Wage Returns to Sleep”. Williams College Department of Economics Working Papers.

Giuntella & Mazzonna (2017). “Sunset Time and the Economic Effects of Social Jetlag Evidence from US Time Zone Borders”. Journal of Health Economics.

Cc: Premier Kenney

We received no further reply from the minister nor the premier, with more than six weeks having now passed.

Albertans: Please vote NO to permanent DST, as recommended by doctors, scientists, and teachers. Please demand MLAs instead stop clocks on healthier, safer, permanent Standard Time next legislative session. Thank you.

Read more of Save Standard Time’s concerns, browse over a hundred sources, interact with the Sunrise Chart, see the list of policy endorsers, take action, browse images, and read more about Save Standard Time on our website: SaveStandardTime.com

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Map via Wikimedia Commons

Permanent Standard Time is best for health, safety, kids, workers, and environment. It’s also the quickest end to Daylight Saving Time clock change. Nonprofit.