Ontario MPPs Pass Bill to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent, Pending Quebec and New York to Follow Suit

Ontario MPPs Pass Bill to Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent, Pending Quebec and New York to Follow Suit
A pedestrian walks by Union Station during morning commuting hours as Toronto copes with a shutdown due to the Coronavirus in Toronto, Canada on April 1, 2020. (Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Andrew Chen

Ontario MPPs have voted to end the biannual practice of changing the clocks for daylight saving time, but will await Quebec and the state of New York to sign on similar laws before making the change.

Bill 214, Time Amendment Act, 2020, which would make daylight saving time the standard time, passed the third reading stage on Nov. 25, 2020.
It was originally tabled (pdf) by Ottawa West-Nepean PC MPP Jeremy Roberts in October 2020.
“I’m thrilled to announce that the Legislative Assembly of Ontario has just unanimously voted to pass Bill 214, to end the clock changes,” Roberts wrote on Twitter. “I’m looking forward to reaching out to colleagues in Quebec and New York State, so that together, we can end this outdated practice.”
During the second reading stage on Oct. 7, Roberts said the decision reflects recent studies that showed that time change may lead to “adverse health” issues, including higher levels of depression and increased chances of strokes.

The legislation will only come into effect “in coordination” with New York State and Quebec. With New York City, the consideration was for the benefit of Ontario’s markets to share the same time zones; and for Quebec, the cooperation is considered necessary due to logistical reasons.

Some Canadian jurisdictions like Saskatchewan and the Yukon have already abandoned the time-change tradition. Alberta and British Columbia are also considering shrugging off the practice.

The jurisdictions that have considered ending the practice debated on whether to settle with permanent standard time or permanent daylight saving time. Roberts said Bill 214 decided to go with the latter because more sunlight in the evening “will likely generate more economic activity” and reduce robberies, quoting studies by JPMorgan Chase and Brookings Institution.

Bill 214 still needs to receive royal assent from Ontario lieutenant governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell.

The Time Amendments Act consequentially affects other Acts, including the Election Act, the Labour Relations Act, 1995, and the Mining Act.