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Today’s mailbox: Time changes and valuing nurses

Letters to the editor published Nov. 6, 2020

Time change anti-science, reader says

As we all know, most of Canada changed their clocks back over the weekend.

Well thanks to Sandy Silver and the results of an informal survey with terribly misleading questions and no control to prevent people from submitting it multiple times, the Yukon didn’t roll back their clocks.

Unfortunately Silver choose to ignore all of the advice every expert gave him and decided to let roughly 3,400 submissions — which if these were all individual submissions, make up less than 10 per cent of the Yukon’s population — be the deciding factor as to why the Yukon is using a time zone geographically aligned with the centre of Saskatchewan (UTC-7) as our current Yukon time. Sandy Silver and the Yukon Liberal Party intentionally decided to ignore the advice of every single health expert out there who overwhelmingly say the same thing in favour of these 3,400 submissions.

The fact that the Yukon is now two hours behind Alaska, one hour behind B.C. and the same time as Alberta isn’t that big of a deal except for the fact that Whitehorse is on the 135th meridian — around 700 kilometres west of the west coast of Vancouver Island — while Silver decided that using a time zone 3,000 km away from the middle of Saskatchewan made the most sense, all based on 3,400 submissions. All the experts agreed that Standard Time was the way to go, including the report the Yukon government and Silver received prior to making a decision that said “In summary, the scientific literature strongly argues against the switching between DST and Standard Time and even more so against adopting DST permanently.”

But I guess Sandy Silver knows more then all of the experts combined. I now question what Sandy Silver has to say to those who will needlessly suffer increased rates of depression, obesity, cancer, insomnia, diabetes, heart attacks, liver issues, neurodegenerative disorders, psychiatric disorders, mood disorders and a decrease in life expectancy that come with adhering to a permanent Daylight Savings Time versus Standard Time. All because he choose to ignore science and all the advice the experts provided him.

What is he going to say to those people? Due to Sandy’s arrogance and foolishness the sun will not rise in Whitehorse in December until after 11 a.m. In Dawson City, it will not rise until after noon.

There are very real health implications to going to permanent Daylight Savings Time with very little benefit. It’s why all of the experts who’ve studied this agree that going to Standard Time is the way to go. But apparently Sandy Silver and the Yukon Liberal Party don’t care enough about Yukoners to spend any time reading the science on this issue. Now I merely wonder how many years it will take before common sense comes into play and corrects this, and how many people will have to needlessly suffer in the mean time due to the Yukon government and Silver’s carelessness about the health and well-being of every Yukoner.

Jordan Rivest


Nurses need to be valued

I am sad at the news that 4 nurses resigned from Yukon Hospital Corp. I am sad not only because we need nurses to care for us when we are sick but because this story says to me that the nurses are not ‘cared’ for.

In another era when I arrived in the Yukon and worked as a nurse at WGH, Jean MacDonald was Matron. She hired me and mentored me. By choice I never sought a full time position but worked close to ½ time for 3 – 4 years. Most of that time was nights. One day I went into her office and said “I don’t want to work night shifts anymore.” Without a moment’s pause she replied “I need someone on days next week.” I felt valued by that response and I was surprised. I talked with her about her response. She told me that I lived here and she needed to accommodate me so that I would be willing to work when she needed me. In those days we did not have the ability to fly nurses into the territory on short notice. But I don’t think that is why she accommodated me. I chose to think she cared for me and valued my work.

Although the world has changed substantially from when I started working at WGH, and this way of caring may not be as possible, I wonder if in some important ways the employer is failing to treat these nurses like they matter. I wonder if the nurses that resigned felt cared for and valued by their managers.

For clarity, I am retired and not a registered nurse.

Lorraine Hoyt