Daylight Saving Time begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November (but not in most of Saskatchewan and parts of Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia).
The clock goes forward one hour at 2:00 AM on the second Sunday in March and back to normal time at 2:00 AM on the first Sunday in November. (Spring forward, Fall back) Prior to 2007, daylight time in Canada began on the first Sunday in April and ended on the last Sunday in October.
The concept of Daylight Saving Time was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin as an American delegate in Paris. In a letter to the Journal de Paris Franklin noted that much discussion had followed the demonstration of an oil lamp the previous evening concerning the amount of oil used in relation to the quantity of light produced. He outlined several amusing regulations that Paris might adopt to help. He parodied himself, his love of thrift, his scientific papers and his passion for playing chess until the wee hours of the morning then sleeping until midday. The letter was published in the Journal on April 26, 1784, under the English title "An Economical Project".
Daylight Saving Time was first seriously proposed in London in 1907 by William Willett in the pamphlet, "Waste of Daylight". He proposed advancing clocks 20 minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and setting them back by the same amount on four Sundays in September. The idea met with ridicule and opposition and was rejected by the British government.
Daylight Saving Time was first implemented during World War I and again in World War II to conserve energy. Germany was the first nation to adopt daylight time during the First World War in 1915. Britain, parts of Europe, Canada and the United States quickly followed suit.
By observing Daylight Saving Time we, in effect, create an extra hour of daylight in the evening. An hour in which less lighting is used and thus less electricity. Studies have shown that electricity usage drops by about 1% each day with Daylight Saving Time.
Other studies have shown that the extra hour of evening daylight relates to a reduction in traffic fatalities and the likelihood of pedestrians being killed on the roads. Crime is also reduced since more people have the opportunity to arrive home before darkness sets in, a time when burglars prefer to operate.
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