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

Grizzly.
Morning Start: Humans might be able to hibernate like bears

Your morning start for Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020

The giant Christmas tree lights up downtown Salmon Arm on Dec. 1, 2017. (File photo)
COVID-19: Holiday Market, Tree Light-up in Salmon Arm cancelled

Downtown Salmon Arm makes change in response to protocols from provincial health officer

The team of horses is ready to pull riders for Caravan Farm Theatre’s sold-out Winter Sleigh-Ride Show of the Gift from Dec. 8-Jan.2. The Spallumcheen theatre company wants the province to include live theatre on its list of businesses allowed to operate during COVID-19. (File photo)
Spallumcheen theatre group plans for socially safe winter show to go on

Caravan Farm Theatre asks province to include live theatre on lists of businesses allowed to operate

Missy MacKintosh, founder/CEO with MisMacK Clean Costmetics, has been chosen one of the top 100 Canadian businesses in Canada’s Total Mom Pitch, with the next round going to public voting. (White Willow Photography)
Salmon Arm’s MisMacK cosmetics hits top 100 in women’s entrepreneur program

To reach the finals, participants must garner votes on website

The Animal Food Bank is asking for donations as the pandemic continues and the holidays approach. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Okanagan Animal Food Bank in need of donations as pandemic continues

The Animal Food Bank provides food for any domestic pet in need

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Firedog Photography)
Family rescued from Peachland area after spending night in a truck

The family was off-roading when their truck battery died and became stranded

The Vernon Towne Theatre and Galaxy Cinemas are closed under the latest pandemic protocols. (File photo)
COVID-19 closes North Okanagan movie theatres, again

Galaxy Cinemas and Towne Theatre part of latest health regulations in limiting events

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Kelowna International Airport. ���Image: Capital News file
Two more Kelowna flights exposed to COVID-19

At least seven Kelowna flights have been exposed to COVID-19 since Oct. 21

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before B.C. teen’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Most Read