EDITORIAL: It’s about time

B.C. is gearing up to potentially get rid of time changes. Yukon needs to get ready to follow suit.

As the days get shorter and Yukoners are getting accustom to waking up when it’s still dark outside, B.C. Premier John Horgan arrived in the territory offering a ray of hope.

Horgan said this week that he expects his B.C. government will introduce legislation this fall to end time changes in the province.

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver rightly believes that the territory should be in lockstep with B.C. when it comes to our clocks.

That means it’s time for the Yukon to hurry up and get its own legislation in order to put an end to these cuckoo clock rules.

Like Yukon, most areas of B.C. currently “spring forward” into daylight saving time during summer months and “fall back” to standard time in the winter.

Horgan asked if British Columbians wanted to keep swapping back and forth or adopt year-round observance of Daylight Saving Time.

About 223,000 people responded and 93 per cent of them want to keep the same time year-round.

Hallelujah.

There is little to be gained from continuing to switch back and forth between standard time to daylight saving time.

New Zealand entomologist George Hudson is credited with being the first to propose daylight saving time. He reportedly wanted more time in the evenings to spend with his bugs.

Bug fans or not, Yukoners could undoubtably find something fun to do with even a little bit of extra light after work.

Fifty-three per cent of B.C. residents who supported year-round daylight time mentioned the benefit of additional daylight during the evening commute in winter.

If British Columbians feel that way it’s easy to imagine that we in the land of the midnight sun would also get behind the idea.

Some studies have linked an increase in heart attacks and car crashes to the days surrounding when we change our clocks.

At a minimum changing the clocks messes with sleep, makes everyone grumpy, and is an idea that has outgrown its usefulness.

We no longer set clocks by looking up at the sun and estimating. While it is important that nearby jurisdictions have the same understanding of time we don’t all have to be trapped in this ridiculous cycle.

The survey about time change was the largest public engagement in B.C.’s history, according to provincial officials.

There’s nothing this Yukon government loves more than being able to tout a good, old-fashioned public engagement. So get on it folks, Yukoners are waiting.

Washington, Oregon and California are all considering their own move to a put an end to time change which is all the more reason for Yukon to start getting its act together.

Last year Yukon MLAs agreed to ask the government to “investigate” eliminating daylight saving time in the territory all together.

If the circumstances were different Yukon could have had a conversation about whether we want to eliminate daylight saving time all together or stay on it permanently. Since B.C. has already picked a side, Yukon doesn’t need to choose now to be a contrarian.

It would not make sense for us to permanently be in a different time zone than B.C.

The sentiment behind both options is the same: switching clocks back and forth is more trouble than it’s worth.

According to some reports, American states will need federal approval before they can make a change. In Canada, Ottawa doesn’t get to meddle in Yukon’s clock. The provinces and territories can decide what to do without input from the feds.

Let’s do it – time’s ticking.

(AJ)

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