Creston considers switch to daylight time

A non-binding referendum question will be added to Creston ballots in November's municipal election.

Creston voters will have a referendum question asking whether they want daylight savings times.

Creston council is questioning whether the town should start taking part in daylight savings time.

Creston, part of the Mountain Time Zone, has never made the seasonal adjustment to its clocks. Time in Creston is therefore the same as Cranbook in the winter, and Nelson in the summer.

The town council believes it’s time to ask voters if they want to change that. A non-binding referendum question will be added to Creston ballots in November’s municipal election.

However, Regional District of Central Kootenay directors representing the surrounding areas aren’t so sure that’s a good idea.

Area A director Garry Jackman, an opponent of daylight time, said there is no economic benefit to changing time to make daylight extend longer into the evening, and that the Town of Creston hasn’t demonstrated why there should be a vote.

Arguing that the town “hasn’t done its homework,” Jackman said that there is no evidence that Creston residents want DST, while a poll of Area B voters showed a 77 per cent opposition to the scheme among the 400 residents who responded.

Area C director Larry Binks was concerned a time zone change in Creston could impact other communities in the area that reject daylight time, including the Creston Valley and East Shore.

“Are you going to tell the provincial government that if the vote [in Creston] is 50.1 per cent in favour of DST that the whole area should have it forced upon it?” Binks asked.

Time zone issues are in provincial jurisdiction. The results of the Creston referendum will be forwarded to the BC government to determine if any response is warranted.

In 1972, a provincial referendum asked voters in the southeast and northeast corners of the province to state their preference about daylight time. The east part of the Nelson-Creston provincial riding voted no by a 50.61 to 49.39 per cent margin. Creston Valley and East Shore rejected daylight time by much wider margins.

—With files from the Creston Valley Advance.

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