As spring approaches, there appears to be renewed interest in the contentious subject of the permanent adoption of Pacific Daylight Saving Time in the Yukon.
The subject has been frequently rehashed over the last year or so, since the government expressed an interest in creating a new time zone.
As the first winter under the new regime is creeping closer to an end, more and more debate is happening, particularly on social media.
Many people are expressing their discontent with the concept after a season of extra-dark mornings, but as many or more are praising the change. No consensus is in sight.
Many of the detractors point out the time is as much as two hours off of where it should be, particularly as gauged by solar noon.
They argue it’s something our biological clocks and Circadian rhythms are aware of, even if we aren’t consciously paying attention.
Most also argue they don’t like the lingering darkness of the mornings.
The Facebook page “My Life in the Yukon” was one of the scenes for the debate over the weekend.
“My body’s clock tells me all winter that’s it much more natural to be on Alaska time in the winter than on Alberta time,” one person wrote on Facebook.
“I’m 100 per cent in favour of not changing time during the year, but I do think they went the wrong way when standardizing the time,” one person wrote.
“My body clock isn’t happy with this; I can’t get going in the morning... I’d like to go back an hour and stay there.”
On the other hand, the new time zone has its advocates as well.
“Good Gosh, just leave it! We had been wanting it this way for years, ever since they started daylight savings time,” wrote another person.
“I love having the evening light,” stated someone else. “Mornings don’t matter – we’re just going to school or work, and retirees can sleep in.”
A petition on Change.org by Andy Lera now has more than 230 signatures. It’s one of a handful of petitions on the subject.
Lera couldn’t be reached for comment, but he commented extensively on the Change.org website.
“This petition is here to advocate our government to get back on Yukon time,” Lera wrote in the document.
“That residents of Yukon are demanding the Government of Yukon to reconsider the decision to switch to permanent daylight savings time.
“THAT Government of Yukon should consult with health professionals and give due consideration to scientific research as was promised in the engagement survey.
“THAT Government of Yukon put forth a referendum with one vote per resident in order to ensure a fair and equal representation. To consider the results of this referendum along with scientific research rather than solely public opinion. This referendum must outline all the health and safety impacts of each option.
“THEREFORE, the undersigned ask the Yukon Legislative Assembly to urge the Government of Yukon to reverse its decision on permanent daylight savings time which may affect the health, safety and economy of Yukon residents and to adopt permanent standard time in 2021.”
Matthew Cameron, a spokesperson for the government, said there are no plans to revisit the issue.
“As announced last fall, the change is permanent.”
At the time it revealed its decision, the government cited widespread public feedback favouring the course it eventually opted for.
Friday’s Star featured two letters to the editor on the subject written by Whitehorse residents.