Creston Valley time zone poll should offer more than two options

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To the Editor:

The Regional District of Central Kootenay Area B newsletter is conducting a poll requesting Area B residents to decide between two time zone options. This appears to be a poorly designed poll and as I see it will not provide Area B director John Kettle with an informed opinion from the voters.

In my view, there should be three choices. Choice 1: Mountain standard time (MST), which is what is currently in use, with no observance of daylight time. Choice 2: Mountain daylight time (MDT), which would mean MST during the winter months and moving our clocks forward one hour for the warmer months. Choice 3: Pacific time, which includes both Pacific standard and the observance of Pacific daylight time. Both options 2 and 3 would mean “springing ahead” and “falling back”.

MST is the time zone that the East Shore, Kitchener, Yahk, Kingsgate and Creston Valley have always operated with. The clocks are not changed in the spring or fall but remain on the same time year-round. This aligns our time with the east in the winter months and the west and south in the summer months.

MDT will align the affected communities’ time with the East Kootenay and Alberta. Some of the services and amenities to the East that are utilized by many of us are the Interior Health Authority’s East Kootenay region, East Kootenay Regional Hospital, other health care specialists in the East Kootenay and Alberta, and shopping and entertainment. We are part of the Kootenay-Columbia federal riding, and our member of Parliament is in that time zone.

Pacific time will align the affected communities’ time with the Kootenay-Boundary and all of B.C. west of Creston. Idaho and Washington states are also on Pacific time. Some of the services and amenities located to the west that are utilized by many of us are the four remaining regions of the Interior Heath Authority, the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, Kelowna General Hospital, the BC Cancer Agency. and other health care services and specialists, KBS radio, CBC radio and TV, and shopping and entertainment. Furthermore, most of the RDCK and School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) are located in this time zone. We are part of the Nelson-Creston electoral district, so our provincial member of the legislative assembly (MLA) is from this time zone.

This poll, while perhaps well meaning, is skewed toward observing MDT because it only provides the inside story on one option. Of the three obvious choices, only two are offered to the voter. Therefore, I believe this poll and the information prefacing it will not provide our voters with the knowledge needed to make an educated decision, nor will it yield our Area B director with the informed, non-biased voter preference that he is hoping for.

Deborah Nelius