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Liberal MLA Paulo Gallina and Bev Buckway

Let’s re-examine daylight saving time, MLA urges

Liberal MLA Paulo Gallina put forward a motion in the legislature Monday

By Chuck Tobin on May 17, 2017

Liberal MLA Paulo Gallina put forward a motion in the legislature Monday to have the government investigate the possibility of eliminating daylight saving time.

Gallina’s motion comes on the heels of a resolution adopted unanimously last Sunday by members of the Association of Yukon Communities (AYC) during their annual general meeting in Faro.

The AYC motion was brought forward by Dawson City Coun. Kyla MacArthur.

It reads: “Whereas daylight savings time has little effect on the overall amount of daylight the Yukon receives; and

Whereas studies in other jurisdictions show that daylight savings time can be detrimental to health, vehicular safety, energy consumption and productivity; and

Whereas metabolisms and sleep cycles of our own human bodies, as well as those of children, livestock and pets still do not “know” the hands on the clock have moved forward;

Therefore be it resolved that the Association of Yukon Communities engage with the Yukon government to determine if there is a case for removing daylight savings time in the Yukon.”

Most of North America embraces daylight saving time, except for Saskatchewan.

Much of Europe springs ahead an hour in the spring and falls back an hour in the fall.

There are, however, many countries that have never used it or have used it but have since abandoned it.

While it’s said to save energy by adding more daylight and reducing the need for artificial light through the spring and summer, the jury is still out on just how effective it is as a conservation tool.

Some believe daylight saving came about in the early 1900s as the result of a prominent English businessman, William Willet, and his desire for longer daylight hours to play golf after work.

Alberta is also in the midst of a discussion about getting rid of the summer time change.

But there are questions, such as whether to go with the Central or Mountain time zone, and thoughts of being two hours ahead of B.C. through the spring and summer months.

Gallina said in an interview Tuesday the AYC resolution was a factor in his decision to bring the motion forward Monday.

But there were also concerns he heard during last year’s election campaign about daylight saving from some of his Porter Creek Centre constituents with young families, he said.

Gallina said some parents expressed concern about how changing the clocks twice a year affects their children.

According to procedure, if Gallina’s motion is not brought forward for debate before the end of the spring session next month, it would remain on the books.

It will remain on the books until it’s debated, or Gallina asks that it be removed, or the legislature is prorogued.

Gallina said there are many motions by Liberal MLAs in the queue. It’s a matter of what priority the governing caucus places on each one that determines if and when they are debated.

As long as daylight saving time is an issue for his constituents and Yukoners in general, he will continue to raise the matter, Gallina said.

Coun. MacArthur brought forward the resolution to the AYC general assembly because she feels the question about whether daylight saving should be continued should at least be asked.

Personally, she said in an interview Tuesday, she doesn’t see a need for it in the North, where there is ample daylight in the summer and plenty of darkness in the winter.

MacArthur emphasized the resolution is not aimed at removing daylight saving time.

Rather, its purpose is to have the government investigate if there is a case for eliminating it, she said.

Bev Buckway, the AYC’s executive director, said a letter has already been sent to Community Services Minister John Streicker and Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai with copies of resolutions passed in Faro.

There have been 73 motions brought forward since the legislature began sitting April 20. A handful of them have been dealt with.

When the legislature prorogued last year in advance of the fall election, 1,222 motions died on the books.

Though they had been brought forward, they were never dealt with during the five-year term of the former Yukon Party government, according to records.

Comments (12)

Up 2 Down 3

It's not that big of deal on May 23, 2017 at 1:12 pm

They'll probably go and change it and then people will complain that we're no longer an hour behind Alberta and 3 hours behind Ontario. It should be more of a worldwide, or at least nationwide but preferrably North American wide, change and not just local.

In the end, it's not that big of a difference. Has no one ever travelled? How long did it take you to adjust to the time change? I bet not long at all (in North America).

Up 4 Down 11

Rachel on May 23, 2017 at 9:43 am

I'm so glad to see this proposal come forward. The time change throws me off every time, and it's even worse for my young ones. Please stop messing with the clocks!

Up 9 Down 6

Charles on May 21, 2017 at 8:22 pm

@ Nick Smith: You are partially correct; one of the main reasons for DST was to be on same time as Vancouver year round and enable businesses to have a productive business day with BC. Something that folks not engaged in business haven't contemplated. Before the switch we did not have DST and all of YT was not on same time zone. We had 2 time zones. If I remember correctly, the zone line was somewhere East of Beaver Creek and that community was same as Alaska. Messing with this could affect the economy.

Up 9 Down 7

ProScience Greenie on May 20, 2017 at 11:51 am

The east-west centre of the Yukon is around Teslin. Go down there and around noon put a stick in the ground and at the time of the shortest length of that stick's shadow it will be local noon so set that as the temporal fix point for Yukon Time. Then pick the nearest time zone and go with that, no stupid DST ever again. It is not rocket science.

If you want more daylight after work in the spring and fall then get to work earlier, don't screw things up messing with our clocks.
Good point about the red herring Capitan.

Up 14 Down 14

Nick Smith on May 19, 2017 at 11:00 pm

I can only imagine how badly these idiots who are making these complaints would whine if we switched back to the "proper" Yukon Time Zone - GMT -9 (now called Alaska Time Zone) and then did not follow Daylight Savings Time. Apparently most of these people do not remember the early 1970's when we were an hour behind Vancouver and two hours behind Edmonton.
So let's put this into an easy to understand perspective; right now the Air North flight leaves Whitehorse at 07:30, arrives in Vancouver (after an awesome flight with outstanding service, and cookies...) at 09:50. If we followed the proper time zone for our Longitude (GMT -9) and did not practice Daylight Savings Time; we would leave Whitehorse at 07:30 and arrive in Vancouver at 11:50 during the Summer. Worse, to arrive in Vancouver by 08:20 on the Air Canada flight as it currently does; would mean arriving at the airport by 2 am for the 4 am flight.
We would also lose 2 hours of business per day when dealing with people in the South even more for areas East of BC (perhaps this was the reason for the Yukon advancing from the Yukon time Zone to the Pacific time Zone in 1975). Maybe the NIMBY's who come up with these ideas should realize that the world does not revolve around them; and that if they so choose they can set their own clock to whatever time they want. Waking up an hour early for a short period of time once per year is a tiny price to pay for us to keep up with the World (and the good taxpayers of Southern Canada that send us a Billion Dollars year to keep us here bitching and whining).

Up 17 Down 2

Capitan on May 18, 2017 at 11:56 am

I'm no big fan of daylight savings time, especially when it's in the spring. It's a relief when it changes back in the fall.

But this is a red herring compared to another motion AYC put forward, to extend council terms to four years. It makes me a little skeptical about what AYC is happy to talk about in public.

Up 13 Down 19

ralpH on May 18, 2017 at 9:25 am

Nothing better to debate in the legislature. The time change has its advantages and disadvantages. One better left alone.

Up 28 Down 8

No DST on May 18, 2017 at 9:24 am

No need for it up here. Get rid of it. It messed me up this Spring!

Up 11 Down 16

Bedrockminer on May 17, 2017 at 9:16 pm

I told Premier Pasloski to use this as an election issue because it would help him win the election, but he didn't see the wisdom of this voter. Anyway he lost and now the Liberals are going to milk the DST issue and will probably win point for the next election. That's really the trouble with Conservative politicians, they think they have all the smarts and wisdom.

Up 20 Down 11

Maxine Osland on May 17, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Leave it DST and extra hour of daylight at the end of the day is great and then we are only one hour different in Alberta .

Up 49 Down 11

Hugh Mungus on May 17, 2017 at 3:24 pm

Get rid of it, it's a waste of time and energy

Up 47 Down 20

north_of_60 on May 17, 2017 at 3:08 pm

Leave it in DST; don't switch back in the Fall. An extra hour of light at the end of the day is more useful all year long.

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