Whitehorse Daily Star

Disagreement on time issue keeps on ticking

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.

By Tim Giilck on March 1, 2021

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.

Comments (43)

Up 3 Down 1

Northerner on Mar 7, 2021 at 2:40 pm

@Are you kidding me?

You ask what are you missing.
You are missing that a time zone should not be determined by an online survey.

Time zones are determined by the lines of longitude.

As you say, "let's see if the government has the backbone..." Yes, let's see if they have the backbone to put us on the proper time, with no Daylight Saving Change when we have midnight sun all summer.

Let's get real.

Up 6 Down 8

Are you kidding me?? on Mar 6, 2021 at 4:04 pm

What am I missing here? Was there not a Yukon wide survey regarding the time change? Did not everyone have an opportunity to complete the survey? So, if you didn’t complete the survey and/or the results did not go your way, suck it up princesses!! Let’s see if the government has the backbone to leave the time as is and not cower because some babies didn’t get what the want!!

Up 3 Down 12

Denis on Mar 6, 2021 at 11:49 am

Most of these previous comments come from Non Yukon Residents. Have you ever considered the conundrum suffered by BC/AB residents in the Ft. St. John/Grande Prairie area. That area population is at a minimum 5 TIMES, Yes 5 TIMES the Yukon population. BC will be coming on board with AB in the near future. Here is hoping the YG continues to be the LEADER OF THE WEST and leave the time thing AS IS. Can't improve on perfection???

Up 9 Down 8

Micawber on Mar 5, 2021 at 4:50 pm

Right now we are getting 11.4 hrs of sun. Enjoy it and quit griping about the setting of the clock. Soon it will be the equinox.

Up 14 Down 5

Naturelover on Mar 4, 2021 at 2:11 pm

@ Are "we" compos mentis?

Well said!
The idiocracy is now evident in Mr. Dress Up's " Post Nation State".

Up 35 Down 15

LJ on Mar 4, 2021 at 11:00 am

I hope everyone is clear that you get THE SAME AMOUNT OF DAYLIGHT during the day. It's 1 hour of dark or light we are talking about, that's it 1 hour..... you either get it at the beginning of the day or the end. Lived here my whole life, winter is dark, end of story. It's not some massive crisis.
Yukoners have a real problem with forgetting just how good we have it here and like to find anything to cause an uproar about. Half the year we are the same time as BC, half the year with Alberta, even all around. If you suffer from the morning darkness (again only 1 hour) get out and enjoy the extra hour at the end of the day. Electronics caught up by day 2, if you don't have that figured out yet that's a problem.

Up 14 Down 11

Juniper Jackson on Mar 4, 2021 at 10:41 am

The time thing is pretty minor considering all that's going on in the world today. And, keeping in mind how sneaky and underhanded our current government is. I have been trying to get updates on the health care review reports and the so called Poly Clinics. The poly clinics DO NOT WORK IN THE WESTERN WORLD. This government said they were going to do it. The place for the fight is with the medical association and it would cut the number of doctors here in half, put them on a salary, determine hours of work, and further limit the doctors scope of practice. So we damned well better keep an eye on what Handley is going to force on us next. That little dude has his stickly little nose in everything and I would bet my last .34 cents and bag of refundables, that he is up to his hair line in this one too. Heads up folks...whenever this government is making a huge issue out of a relative non issue.. they are doing something TO us...not FOR us.

Up 13 Down 15

Anyone? on Mar 4, 2021 at 10:23 am

I still haven't met anyone who was on board with stopping the time change.

Up 23 Down 7

Al on Mar 4, 2021 at 9:31 am

Ah, this is an exercise in messing with people's minds. There was nothing wrong with what we had prior to the great reset. What it has done is create a whole lot of confusion with our neighbours to the east, west and south. Where in the "world" would you see a 2 hour time difference with your neighbour. Yup, only here. An hour was a nuisance with Alaska. Two hours is absolutely ridiculous. A great deal of hour economic activity is with BC - but remember now you have to factor in the hour - which can (and does) mess with businesses, sorting out medical appointments, etc.

The process for how we got here just simply sucks - period ! Every voting Yukoner should have been the direct opportunity to say yes or no. Not some goofy website with a bias survey that very few knew about.
Will YTG cave - don't hold your breath. There is way too much arrogance involved by this hoard.

Up 20 Down 5

Are “we” compos mentis? on Mar 3, 2021 at 9:29 pm

@ Northerner - Thank you. We are in short supply of reality these days. I too agree that people’s preferences should have no place in such considerations. It is spectacularly narcissistic to do so. This is a Liberal tendency however.

Again, “we” have walked away from the science of it to say that evolution, biology, and optimal human functioning have no bearing in this. The standard of civil society cannot be the fanciful whimsy of whatever despotic asshat gets elected into office - FFS! That would be chaos. Chaos is what we are seeing now with this current government.

We are diurnal creatures functioning through the ebb and flow of an endocrine system which impacts mood, memory, executive functioning, and neurogenic processes related to general cognitive functioning through the release of modulatory hormones. The disruption of these processes by something as simple as a variation in the sleep/wake cycle or phasic disturbance can actually lead to brain damage which over the longterm may be irreversible.

It should be clear to even the most ardent Liberal supporter that they have been dumbing things down for a while now. Liberalism is a disorder, we know this, the science is firm on this. Shutting down the education system, legalizing marijuana, substituting objectivity for subjectivity, substituting emotion for intellect, making all white people racist (except them), destroying the economy based on the emotion of a pseudo-pandemic, while convincing those in opposition that they cannot trust their own minds because “they” know better but are never able to really explain it... It’s a feeling... They are parasites feeding off your emotions - True sociopaths.

They are literally installing a ‘society’ of form over context - The Idiocracy.
So, no! Stop feeding me your brand of caca because I no longer see any haha.
Quite literally this current brand of Liberalism is brain damaging and we are in some serious need of damage control.

Up 12 Down 3

martin on Mar 3, 2021 at 3:54 pm

@Mme T: How about your students? How awake are they?. I know someone in teaching and that person said this year elementary students have been the worse.

Up 5 Down 1

martin on Mar 3, 2021 at 3:49 pm

@Mick ; Same as Silver, I'd believe you drank the Cool-Aid

Up 42 Down 4

Northerner on Mar 3, 2021 at 3:29 pm

All this talk about what people "want", or what people "like", or what people "enjoyed " is just silly.

This should be about what is REAL. Where is the sun? How far west is the Yukon located? What time zone should we be using? And of course, no changing back and forth.

When the sun is at the highest point in the sky it is 12 o'clock noon.
Right now we're two hours off.

Up 37 Down 15

Oya on Mar 3, 2021 at 9:47 am

My body tells me we are on the wrong time right now. I think we should go to standard time, instead of daylight savings time, and stay there. I found it incredibly difficult to get going in the mornings this past winter. It really is about the circadian rhythms.

Up 19 Down 30

Bandit on Mar 3, 2021 at 9:06 am

Quit your whining, many years ago I worked one winter up in Tuktoyaktuk building ice roads for the Rigs, it was dark all of the time. I do recall the first glimmer of hope around the end of December at about 1:30 in the afternoon when the sun looked like a thumbnail on the horizon for about 15 minutes, then dark again for 23+hrs. Get over it. Once the West Coast from Oregon to BC change it will all be good.

Up 13 Down 7

Groucho d'North on Mar 3, 2021 at 9:03 am

As all of this is occuring under the Midnight Sun, I believe the whole concept of artificial time management is moot. Each year we all adapt to the daylight transit whether we wear a watch or not. All this time change has done is ostracize the Yukon from the rest of the Pacific time zone and confuse established schedules for some. But hey! We were the first to do it, which seemed to be a worthy target for the government at the time.

Up 21 Down 6

Yukoner on Mar 3, 2021 at 8:52 am

Personally, I'm a morning person so I really struggled with the delayed sunrise this winter. I do understand that people like to get out in the light if they can after work though.

Up 29 Down 12

Mme T on Mar 3, 2021 at 6:11 am

Everyone has a right to an opinion whether it's based in science, prior knowledge, a gut feeling or some ill-informed internet site. A strong influence to my opinion regarding the time change is my experience. I am a teacher and work regular hours of 7:10am - 4:30pm. I am also an outdoor enthusiast and require daily doses of natural vitamin D and fresh air for both my mental and physical well-being. While I love my job, teaching at an elementary school is inherently busy, and even more so during a pandemic. I have absolutely zero opportunity to get outside into the sun during the school day as all of my lunch "breaks" are filled with supervision.
This year, one of the major contributing factors to physically and mentally surviving has been the extra light at the end of the day. This has allowed me to walk my dog, go for a ski or ride my bike in the light. The light at the end of the day has directly and ultimately helped me to get through one of the most challenging years of my career. I have been teaching for 16 years and have lived in the Yukon for 13 years. While I know others have different experiences, this has been mine and is why I continue to support the light at the end of the day.

Up 33 Down 21

Francis Pillman on Mar 2, 2021 at 6:44 pm

The people behind this nonsense of changing back are the same folks who got offended with "Sourdough" Rendezvous and "Miles Canyon".

Up 25 Down 23

Mick on Mar 2, 2021 at 5:01 pm

I’m digging the evening light, we made the right choice and BC will be making the same one this year.

Up 25 Down 24

CJ2 on Mar 2, 2021 at 12:07 pm

@Brrr, I did not just get here, far from it, and I have been really noticing the extra darkness. I think it's the other way round, that people who haven't been here that long think the extra hour at the end of the day is notable. By this time of year, and earlier, light is lengthening every single day no matter what the clock says. I miss the thrill of seeing that happen daily as January marches on. It feels homogenized now, even while the darkness lingers and lingers at the front end.

It's very odd to me that some people are so keen to write off half the day in favour of shifting their "use" of the day to the evening. Daylight not till 11 am is just disturbing. It's hard when it's 10 am. But a lot of people seem to be so unhappy with the biggest part of their day that they're willing to sacrifice half of it to pretend at 5:00 that the rest of the day didn't happen. That's sad. In fact, maybe they're suffering from the darkness and they don't even know it.

If you're looking for the petition, google "let's get back on Yukon time" at change.org, or just putting in "Andy Lera" in the search bar worked for me.

Up 43 Down 36

jason on Mar 2, 2021 at 9:00 am

Yeah, if you wake up at 6 am and don't like the dark for 5 hours, tough. Those of us that actually work enjoy the afternoon light. This winter has been markedly better for my mood all around.

Up 26 Down 18

Yukoner on Mar 2, 2021 at 8:14 am

I dont think they should change it now, that would be too much of a pain, but "widespread public feedback" is a bit of a joke, maybe luke warm public feedback.

Up 15 Down 11

Josey Wales on Mar 2, 2021 at 8:12 am

Oh ewe don't like freethinkers, thinking freely online? Unplug! It's dangerous
outta ones echo chamber. I don't like freethinkers but I participate in a place full of them, aw poor me.

So yes, the discussion of what time zone we may be in?
Should morph really to what world are we residing...

Up 35 Down 17

YukonMax on Mar 2, 2021 at 6:22 am

It's not like any government would admit they screwed up and must reverse course. I feel we've put ourselves in the same "la la land time zone" as Newfoundland. So far out, we can't belong to any other time zone.

Up 37 Down 18

Kin on Mar 1, 2021 at 10:06 pm

Daylight Savings Time is badly out of sync with our biological clock. I've always wondered about YG's survey results on this one. A referendum would be more transparent. I'll vote for permanent Pacific Standard Time,

Up 21 Down 16

bonanzajoe on Mar 1, 2021 at 7:37 pm

It makes sense to just go back on permanent standard time. And how does one get on this change.org petition? I tried - all I get is a bunch of websites. Andy Lera has to be more specific.

Up 30 Down 23

Dentist on Mar 1, 2021 at 6:55 pm

I didn't think I would like permanent daylight savings, but after being here for the winter I think it is a fine idea. I am semi retired and really enjoy sleeping in each morning.

Up 47 Down 19

Ric on Mar 1, 2021 at 6:54 pm

Government said there are no plans to revisit the issue; well then I'll work to change government.

Up 28 Down 19

Jenn Smith on Mar 1, 2021 at 6:09 pm

As with most of the "let's just change it because we can" decicisions the Liberal government has made since they were elected, this just sucks. I have lived here since I was a kid and I didn't think it would bother me so much, but there is real science to our circadian rhythms. Why mountain time?? I think we should have stayed on standard Pacific time. Makes more sense for everything. Going to sign that petition now and voting the Liberals out as soon as possible! I can't take any more "better ideas".

Up 25 Down 23

Max Mack on Mar 1, 2021 at 5:53 pm

This poorly thought-out vote-buying strategy perfectly describes Silver-Liberal policy and consultation processes.

Many ISPs and other internet time-keepers (including Microsoft) still haven't figured out how to keep their software/hardware in sync with the new "Yukon" time zone.

But, hey. The Liberals are "listening".

Up 34 Down 21

NickyB on Mar 1, 2021 at 5:43 pm

Don't change it again. I'm much happier with extra daylight in the afternoon. Mornings are dark anyway. I mostly like not changing it twice a year.

Up 28 Down 13

Brrr on Mar 1, 2021 at 5:40 pm

Yukoners have requested this time change for years, now we have people possibly from outside, (maybe not) the territory commenting that they don’t like it because they have moved from a province that still changes the time clocks forward and back twice a year. Similar situation as someone wanted to remove “ Sourdough” from the Rendezvous title.

Up 27 Down 12

Tom Foolery on Mar 1, 2021 at 5:22 pm

Being on the same time as BC makes the most sense. Leave it to the government to make our lives more complicated while serving no useful purpose.

Up 30 Down 11

--- not that this wasn't said at the outset on Mar 1, 2021 at 4:08 pm

1- None of our electronics are right
2- meetings with B.C. and Alberta change depending on the time of the year!
3- Flights are stupid to figure out
4- health and lack of vitamin D
5- lethargy
6- no reason to have stopped doing DST
7- we're debating the sexuality of a potato --- this nonsense in the airways is the reason that nothing serious gets discussed. Maybe we're intentionally given idiotic topics so that everyone can feel included in politics. Meanwhile the serious issues that ruin our lives are done behind closed doors under a state of emergency.

Up 29 Down 11

SH on Mar 1, 2021 at 3:52 pm

I love having the extra hour of light in the evening during winter. That said, I do understand why it is difficult for some people.

Up 7 Down 16

Matt on Mar 1, 2021 at 3:39 pm

Good points Patti.....kudos.

Up 28 Down 14

CJ2 on Mar 1, 2021 at 3:30 pm

“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.”
Because I wanna.

At least every other time there was some frivolous adjustment to daylight savings, the brain trust behind it had enough wit to cover it in a cloak of public interest rationale, like "energy savings" (which was a myth).

I think it's about the dumbest thing any government here has done, opting for more darkness in the winter mornings above the 60th parallel and I'm reminded of it every single day. I had no idea that was on the table. My assumption, sadly, was the change being contemplated was to eliminate the spring forward change.

It's the cherry on top that the Yukon rushed it to be aligned with British Columbia, and BC didn't even do it.

Up 29 Down 17

Tater on Mar 1, 2021 at 3:30 pm

We like the evening light. And would like to have it remain as it is now.

Up 14 Down 19

Daphne Privett on Mar 1, 2021 at 3:25 pm

I found it to be hard on me this winter. I suffer from seasonal defective disorder I was sad all winter. I couldn’t get up and go to work because I was so depressed. It is not a good thing - we need to go back to the way it was. At least I never felt so depressed and with Covid 19 and having to stay in more, it has made it very hard to the point I was crying pretty much all winter.

Up 26 Down 15

Dick on Mar 1, 2021 at 3:15 pm

I think it was a mistake. 42 years here and now this change. Nothing wrong with time change scenario.

Up 28 Down 17

Maggie May on Mar 1, 2021 at 2:56 pm

Time is irrelevant. Circadian rhythms not so much. It will be interesting to know what the long term impacts will be on potentially altered cortisol functioning, stress tolerance, and mental ill-health. These are very real concerns given the associations with the light/dark cycle.

This is perhaps just one more way the Liberals are doing harm to society. But hey, when you are out of a job time is irrelevant and the day seems timeless, and long, and boring, and depressing... Gee? I wonder if there have been any actual studies about that - Follow the science, forget the science, we want unity, here are some more race based policies for you to follow, don’t be so racist... And the people slipped into a collective coma from the blunt trauma of a Liberal induced hematoma...

Up 57 Down 71

Patti Eyre on Mar 1, 2021 at 1:39 pm

Oh you don’t like the dark in winter in the North? Move! It’s cold out brrr I don’t like the cold but I live in a place that’s cold, aw poor me.

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