Regional District ‘Springs Forward’ in April

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UPDATE – APRIL FOOLS – Have a great day

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — The Peace River Regional District announced today that the district will follow Mountain Daylight Time to align with Alberta.  Cities within the Peace Region including Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Charlie Lake, Taylor, Chetwynd & Tumbler Ridge will now follow daylight savings time and ‘Spring Forward’.  This change will correct the decision made on the 1974 referendum, where the confusion of the options resulted in the Mountain Standard Time year round.

According to Larry Evans, local historian and former Fort St. John councillor, the time synchronization for Fort St. John was meant to be with one province or the other, not alternating with both.

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“In 1973-74 the oil patch up here wasn’t doing that well and everything that was working up here was from Alberta, but there was a time change. We were on Pacific Standard Time and they were on Mountain Standard Time. So they decided to come up with a referendum where the area does not change their clocks, they wanted to stay on Mountain Standard Time so that the oil patch didn’t have to change their clocks”, said Evans.

Evans says there were 4 choices on the ballot, but only one could be chosen.

The options included:

  • Pacific Standard including Pacific Daylight Time (B.C.)
  • Mountain Standard Time including Mountain Daylight Time (A.B.)
  • Pacific Standard Year Around
  • Mountain Standard Time Year Around
The time zone options as they appeared on the ballot in 1974. Courtesy of Larry Evans

Evans says that when it came to voting, there was some confusion as to what they were voting for.  They meant to choose option two as this would make Fort St. John in complete sync with Alberta. Since they chose Mountain Standard Time, without daylight savings time, this explains why the city has been stuck between two time zones for parts of the year.

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