A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

‘No manual or checklist:’ Yukon ditching fall time change this year

Premier Sandy Silver says he’s confident the government has made the right choice

As most Canadians get ready for the clocks to fall back an hour on Sunday, Yukon is sticking with daylight time.

The territory decided to adopt year-round daylight time in March after a survey showed strong support for the proposal.

The territory uses Yukon standard time, which has always existed as a time zone, but previously aligned with Pacific time. The territory’s time will line up with Pacific daylight time again when it turns over in March.

Yukon government analyst Andrew Smith has been working with companies in areas ranging from telecoms to aviation on how to deal with a time zone that doesn’t fall back with its neighbours.

“There’s no manual or checklist on how to change a time zone,” he said in an interview.

Smith started working on the change over a year ago. He says he’s examined the problem from a variety of angles, including looking at time philosophically and practically.

“We’re north and we know darkness. We know long winter nights,” he said. “So the question really is … when do you want to place that finite amount of sunlight during the day?”

Anything that runs on a computer or requires software will likely be affected, he said, listing traffic lights as one example. This required working with local authorities to make sure their software would be updated.

“I think it’s going to be a little bit like a weird New Year’s Eve at my house on Saturday night. It’s going to be very anxious to see how things are going to move,” Smith said.

“I’m confident that we’ve made the right calls, that we’ve made the right changes in the right infrastructure.”

Premier Sandy Silver says he’s confident the government has made the right choice.

“Yukoners are ready to not deal with the headache of their circadian rhythms all being messed up,” Silver said.

There will be an adjustment period, but people showed a strong desire to get rid of the need to change the clocks, he added.

Werner Antweiler, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder school of business, said he doesn’t foresee any financial hardships arising from the switch.

“The benefit will be to avoid the switch over in the spring, which has been found to be disadvantageous,” he said.

Antweiler said he believes other jurisdictions, like B.C., will be keeping a close eye on Yukon.

B.C. has been contemplating a permanent move to daylight time. More than 93 per cent of respondent to a provincial survey, or almost 225,000 people, supported permanent daylight time.

Legislation had been tabled to make Pacific time permanent, but Premier John Horgan previously said that B.C. would be keeping tabs on its American neighbours before adopting any switch.

READ MORE: B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

“All the other jurisdictions are kind of holding their breath and sort of waiting till the switch in the U.S. takes place,” said Antweiler. “The idea is really to synchronize and not to have disruptions by having discrepancies in time zones with major trading business partners.”

As other provinces adjust their clocks on Sunday morning, Smith says he’s excited to see how residents react and gain a better understanding of what further changes need to be made.

“We won’t know the depths until next week,” he said.

— By Nick Wells in Vancouver.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Yukon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The scene of a single-vehicle crash along Dolphin Drive in Nanoose Bay on Monday morning, April 19. (Mandy Moraes photo)
RCMP: No injuries reported in rollover crash in Nanoose Bay

Police say passengers indicate driver left the scene

The Town of Qualicum Beach plans to establish temporary shelters. (Town of Qualicum Beach illustration)
Town of Qualicum Beach seeks $1.25M grant to build temporary housing units

Aim is to move tenants in prior to the end of 2021

Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association and its Nanaimo-Ladysmith counterpart seek stricter COVID-19 rules. (PQB News file photo)
Mount Arrowsmith teachers’ union asks health authority for stricter COVID-19 measures

Teachers ask for vaccine, more online learning, mask mandate for primary students

Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department emergency response vehicle. (PQB News file photo)
Dashwood fire department issues warning to residents to hold off on yard debris burning

Fire chief: ‘Hold off on burning until we get some rain’

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read