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British Columbia No daylight savings for Northern Rockies with Mountain Standard Time

Scott Gow adjusts a tower clock on test at the Electric Time Company in Medfield, Mass., on March 6, 2009. Most Canadians will move their clocks back an hour in accordance with Daylight Savings Time on Nov. 1, but not in the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.

BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS

On Nov. 1, most Canadians will move their clocks back an hour in accordance with Daylight Savings Time.

Not in the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM), however.

There, residents will leave their timepieces undisturbed in accordance with Mountain Standard Time, which was officially adopted this past March when residents moved their clocks forward one hour with the promise they could leave them there for good.

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Come November, when residents elsewhere across the country are reminding family members to "fall back," people in the NRRM will be able to leave their timepieces alone, secure in the knowledge they will not show up an hour early for work or school.

It also means Fort Nelson will be in the same time zone as the Peace River Regional District to the south, which has been on Mountain Standard Time year-round since the 1970s.

"We were the only one sitting here in this particular time zone," NRRM Mayor Bill Streeper said on Sunday, adding that the question of whether the region should stay on one time zone year-round has come up repeatedly over the past couple of decades.

The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality is a ragged rectangle bordered by the Northwest Territories to the north and Alberta to the east.

Its largest city is Fort Nelson and its economy relies largely on oil and gas, with people, equipment and services moving back and forth frequently between B.C. and Alberta.

The shift away from Daylight Savings Time was sealed last November, when an opinion poll found about 75 per cent of voters were in favour of the municipality staying on Mountain Standard Time year-round.

Most people who backed the idea cited the business advantages of being on the same time zone as neighbours in the Peace River Regional District, Mr. Streeper said. Others liked the idea of not having to adjust their clocks and schedules twice a year. The municipality is playing up that element; a recent reminder on the municipal website stated, "You DON'T have to change your clock EVER."

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Daylight Savings Time is in place across most of Canada, with exceptions, including Saskatchewan – on Central Standard Time year-round – and Creston, B.C., which is on Mountain Standard Time year-round.

Mr. Streeper, currently in his third term, says staying on Mountain Standard Time year-round comes with other benefits, including more daylight for children at this time of year as they head home or to other activities from school.

"So from 3:30 to about 5, you've got kids coming home – ours were coming home in the dark [under Daylight Savings Time]," he said. "At 3:30 in the afternoon, that sun was down. Now, we've prolonged that until 4:30 – and in my mind, it's a lot safer for young kids."

A proposal by Washington State legislators to do away with Daylight Savings Time died earlier this year.

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