A woman and man walk on the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on Monday, July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A woman and man walk on the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on Monday, July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Yukon heralds time zone shift as Canadians ready to move clocks

The territory uses Yukon standard time after previously aligning with Pacific time

As other provinces and territories get ready to roll their clocks forward this weekend, the government official behind Yukon’s move away from the seasonal time shift says it’s been a relatively smooth process.

When Yukon stopped changing its clocks in November, the territory rearranged flight schedules and worked with technology companies that are responsible for things like the clock in a vehicle that runs on a global positioning system.

The territory uses Yukon standard time after previously aligning with Pacific time. The territory will line up with Pacific daylight time again when the clocks change on Sunday.

Government analyst Andrew Smith worked with a range of companies and organizations to implement the change.

“Changing time zones, changing these systems, is not something that’s done a lot in North America. We’ve proven it can be done.” he said in an interview.

Yukon was the first major jurisdiction on the continent in the last 25 years to ditch the time change, Smith added. The Northern Rockies Regional Municipality in British Columbia, which includes Fort Nelson, switched permanently to Mountain standard time in 2015.

There were some small hiccups, largely in the first week of the change last fall, but otherwise it’s been a smooth process, he said.

“It’s small little things, like the GPS controlled clock inside your new-ish vehicle,” he said. “Hindsight’s 20/20 of course but we didn’t even think of GPS systems and how radio controls that.”

SET YOUR CLOCKS FORWARD: Daylight Saving Time to strike B.C. this weekend

Flight schedules posed a challenge, Smith said, with the government having to go through the central authority responsible for worldwide flight schedules. Doing so helped with communicating the changes to Air Canada and Air North, he added.

Other small issues arose with satellite televisions and international software companies. For example, some calendars would show the wrong time when arranging a virtual meeting with someone in Alberta, Smith said. But those problems were largely fixed in the days after most of the country moved their clocks back in November.

The feedback, by and large, has been positive, Smith said, adding that the extra hour of sunlight has proven particularly popular during Yukon’s winter months.

But the time change has affected those outside the territory, particularly in communities along the B.C.-Yukon boundary.

Andie Neekan, who works at the Mountain Shack restaurant in the small northern community of Atlin, B.C., said she didn’t adjust her clocks when the territory shifted away from the same time zone as the province.

“It was funny and weird at the beginning. For the first couple of weeks, everybody was talking about it,” she said. “But everybody got used to it.”

She said Yukon’s decision affected about 700 residents in the small B.C. community, where the time change meant juggling differences with the territory, where many go for doctor’s appointments, shop for groceries and fill prescriptions.

It’s led to people keeping two different times. At home, people follow B.C. time on their clocks, but they are on Yukon standard time when out running errands, Neekan said.

She said she’s waiting for B.C. and the western states along the Pacific Ocean to get on the same page as Yukon.

“I think the whole West Coast should adjust,” she said. “I thought that was the plan.”

British Columbia’s government has said it plans to get rid of the time change, but not until its trading partners in states like Washington and Oregon do so as well.

Nick Wells, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Yukon

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

(File photo)
Three young girls followed while walking home from school, Surrey police say

RCMP say suspect took off after girls went into nearby store for help

Black smoke rises above Highway 17 in Surrey on Thursday. (Fraser Valley Road Report Facebook)
Fire sends thick black smoke above Surrey industrial area

Firefighters say blaze burning just off of Tannery Road and Highway 17 in Surrey

A ambulance drives past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
9 Lower Mainland hospitals to postpone non-urgent surgeries as hospitalizations surge

Record number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across B.C.

It remains to be seen how tourism dollars announced this week will help in White Rock. (Sterling Cunningham file photo)
White Rock officials question if tourism relief will come soon enough

For business, budget ‘feels more like a placeholder,’ says chamber head

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

So far, 15 gang-related killings have occurred across Metro Vancouver in 2021. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Police report 15 gang-linked killings in Metro Vancouver in 2021 as tensions escalate

The situation has flared up again, as tensions dating back to 2008 between the UN gang and rivals including the Red Scorpions, Independent Soldiers and the Wolf Pack escalate

Most Read