A Submission to the Government of Saskatchewan
Regarding Time Zoning in Saskatchewan
Earl R.V. Milton, M.Sc., Ph.D.
This is Earl Milton's report to the Saskatchewan government from February 1966, which the province used as the rationale for adopting Central Standard Time year-round. Milton was Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Saskatchewan Regina Campus, and described himself as the only professional astronomer in the province at that time. There is very little RASC lore about Milton's role - or anything tangential to RASC - in this time adjustment. Milton is named several times in the official RASC history 'Looking Up' for his youth participation with the RASC Montréal Centre, for earning the Chant Medal at age 23 in 1959 and helping to recover pieces of the Bruderheim meteorite in 1960, his presidency of the Edmonton Centre, activity on the national Committee for Co-operation between Observing Centres - but not for assisting government in policymaking regarding time. This report was submitted to the then Premier of Saskatchewan, Ross Thatcher, for government's consideration. The Time Act became effective on 25 July 1966. Milton's report included a basic definition of time, the development of timekeeping, and the evolution of a standardized system of time zoning in use in North America.
Helen Hogg's and Peter Millman's weekly newspaper columns didn't mention the Saskatchewan time change at all in 1966 or '67. Neither Milton nor anybody else presented a paper about time in the Journal of the RASC or at the general assemblies of 1965, '66 or '67.
After obtaining his Ph.D. in Chemistry, Milton worked in Physics at the National Research Council in Ottawa and at the University of Saskatchewan before accepting a post as Associate Professor of Physics at the newly-opened University of Lethbridge. He continued to serve the Society on the National Council, and as Aurora Co-ordinator, and spoke occasionally to meetings of the Edmonton and Calgary centres of RASC. Copies of the Milton Report are kept in the RASC Regina and Toronto centres' archives.