The District of Sparwood is the first community in the East Kootenay to make its decision on time observance, informing the B.C. Government that they will remain on Mountain Time, depending on Alberta’s choice.
District of Sparwood Council drafted a letter to the B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing to provide notice that they would not be moving to Pacific Time like the rest of the Province.
As per Bill 40, the Interpretation Amendment Act, each community that is currently on Mountain Time could decide whether they wanted to follow the B.C. Government and eventually move to the new Pacific Time or go another direction.
Background: East Kootenay to Control Preferred Time Zone Changes (January 16, 2020)
Background: Bill 40 – Interpretation Amendment Act (B.C. Legislature)
The District of Sparwood was the first community in the region to formally make a decision, opting to stay on Mountain Time.
“It would be subject to whatever Alberta decides to do when they make the decision to stay at one time,” noted David Wilks, Mayor of Sparwood. “If the Province of Alberta decides to stay on Mountain Standard Time that’s what we’ll stay on, if they decide to go Mountain Daylight Time, that’s what we’ll go to.”
Wilks believes it was an easy decision to make on behalf of the community, which is why the District of Sparwood elected to notify the Province.
“We have so many employees at the mines here that are from Alberta and it would be really confusing if we want back on Pacific Time and didn’t stay on Mountain Time, considering we’re 16 kilometres from the Alberta border.”
While the rest of the RDEK has yet to choose how they want to observe time moving forward, Wilks believes the other East Kootenay communities will follow suit.
“I would hope that they would see that the logic is for us to stay on Mountain Time, especially that’s what we’re always on anyways,” Wilks told MyEastKootenayNow.com. “Reverting back to Pacific Time would put us one hour further back and it would create confusion certainly with those coming from Alberta so I suspect that most of the communities within the East Kootenay will stay on Mountain Standard Time.”
The B.C. Government is not formally adopting the switch to Pacific Time until Washington, Oregon, and California complete their own review of Daylight Saving Time, while Alberta is also undergoing its own review.
Tom Shypitka, MLA for Kootenay East believes the earliest implementation of any changes would come in the fall of 2020.
Letter: District of Sparwood Mountain Time (District of Sparwood)