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

Just Posted

Ultra runner Jerry Hughes circles the track at the Cowichan Sportsplex as he nears the end of his six-day Canadian record attempt and fundraiser in November. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Ultramarathon a few miles short, but many dollars beyond its goal

Six-day run misses record bid, but Help Fill A Dream fundraiser a big success

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. Dr. Henry frequently reminds people that there are those people who cannot wear a mask for legitimate reasons and they don’t have to. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island woman reminds community that not everyone can wear a mask

People enforcing mask rules frequently ignore that possibility

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: City dismantling Wesley Street homeless encampment after fire

Fire broke out at about 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

An electronic sign at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction notifies travellers heading towards Sutton Pass that closure windows are in effect Thursday morning. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Survey swirls up confusion around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closures

“The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Project closure times remain the same for now,” ministry says

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

The notice at Port Hardy Secondary School’s athletic track. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
North Island school tracks closed to the public during school hours

To keep P.E. classes safe, the restriction went into effect Nov. 30

Some older Canadian currency will have its legal status removed at the start of the new year. (Pixabay.com)
Bank of Canada puts the boots to old bills

$1 and $2, $25 to $500 and $1,000 lose cash value Jan. 1, 2021

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

Most Read