Monday, November 15, 2021
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Permanent daylight saving time “worst” option for Alberta says U of L Professor

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – Time change: Is it good or bad?

Well, the topic was put to a province-wide referendum Monday night and although we won’t know the official results until next week, the question has garnered a lot of attention.

The provincial referendum question proposed to Albertans read like this: Do you want Alberta to adopt year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is summer hours, eliminating the need to change our clocks twice a year?

Dr. Rob McDonald is a neuroscience professor at the University of Lethbridge and has been studying the impacts of time change and circadian rhythms for years. He says there are many negatives for Alberta if we stay on permanent daylight time (DST).

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“This is one of the scientific complications for Alberta,” says Dr. McDonald. “We are on the western edge of a time zone. Sunlight becomes ever later, an hour later (in the winter months) than someone who’s on the eastern side of the time zone. So it’s even worse for people in Alberta to go to daylight saving.”

In fact, McDonald calls staying on permanent DST the “worst” option for Alberta. He says having more darkness in the morning hours during winter can have all kinds of health impacts on people if our body clocks are misaligned.

For instance, with turning our clocks back each fall, the sun rises in Lethbridge on December 20th at around 8:30 am. Staying on year-round daylight time would mean the sun wouldn’t come up until 9:30 am instead during that time of year.

“When you’re ready to start waking up in the morning it’s still going to be dark out, but your body clock is telling you, you should still be sleeping. All of the things the (body) clock does is fundamental to all body and brain functions,” says McDonald.

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McDonald says the best and healthiest of all the options is for Alberta to stay on standard time, which is technically the time once we turn our clocks back for the fall and winter. However, he points out that wasn’t even an option on the ballot.

Residents in Lethbridge were split with only about 51% saying yes to year-round daylight saving.

Again, the province-wide results won’t be released until October 26.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of News Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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