HALIFAX — The Prime Ministers of Atlantic Canada are postponing any decision to implement permanent daylight saving time, pending decisions from neighboring jurisdictions.
The prime ministers told reporters in Halifax on Monday that it would not make sense at this stage to change the time on their own.
“If that were to happen, we would have to act collectively in some way,” PEI Premier Dennis King said after the Atlantic Premiers’ first face-to-face meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Summer time is used between spring and autumn. The clock is set one hour ahead of standard time.
The issue has been on the prime minister’s agenda since the US Senate unanimously approved a bill last week that would make daylight savings time permanent across the country in 2023. The bill still needs to be approved by the House of Representatives.
New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs said any potential change in Atlantic Canada this year is “unlikely.”
“I don’t think that’s something we want to implement on a fast track,” Higgs said. But if we see movement in the United States, Ontario and Quebec, it will certainly have an impact. »
Mobility of medical staff
The premiers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador said on Monday that they also discussed the idea of a regional approach to healthcare. In addition, the previous campaign to harmonize license requirements could be revived to make it easier for healthcare workers to move between the four provinces.
In 2019, the Council of Atlantic Prime Ministers called for a general license for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, but the work has lost momentum with government changes in three of the four provinces.
“I think one of the lessons of COVID-19… is that healthcare mobility is important,” Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Andrew Fury said.
Mr Fury, who is also a medical doctor, once again described the initiative as “active”.
“We are very well trained in Canada, and once you get a license in any jurisdiction, there is no reason to think that you cannot practice medicine anywhere else,” he said.
Energy security under threat
Energy security and the Atlantic Loop Energy Corridor were also on the agenda. The proposed $5 billion loop will connect four provinces with hydroelectric power plants in Quebec and Labrador.
Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston, chairman of the council, said it was important that federal infrastructure minister Dominic LeBlanc attend the two-day meetings that began on Sunday.
“I believe the federal government understands the importance of taxpayer protection coupled with green development of the (energy) grid,” Houston said.
However, no firm funding commitment has yet been received from Ottawa, and Higgs said he believes it will take seven or eight years to get the cycle “up and running”.
Mr Higgs said that in the meantime, there are “many energy solutions that we have collectively spoken about in our respective regions.”
Fury said those solutions could include hydropower and offshore oil. “We have both and we can play an important role when it comes to energy security in Atlantic Canada, in Canada and around the world right now,” he concluded.
– According to the Associated Press.