This engagement is now closed. It ran from 2020-01-06 to 2020-02-16.
We asked Yukoners for their input on whether they want to keep the twice-annual time change or observe a single time permanently.
We also asked which time Yukoners would rather observe if the twice-annual time change is dropped: Pacific Daylight Saving Time or Pacific Standard Time.
For economic, energy, health and other reasons, jurisdictions in western North America are reviewing how they set and observe time.
Read the backgrounder to understand terms and concepts in greater detail.
View time zone maps: Download maps that show what Yukon time would look like compared to Alaska and the rest of Canada under the three different options.
How do we observe time now?
Yukon has chosen to align with the Pacific Time Zone (UTC-8) since 1973. Yukon currently observes Pacific Standard Time from early November to early March every year. Yukon currently observes Pacific Daylight Time from early March to early November every year.
Under this current system, our solar noon (the point in the day when the sun is the highest) while on Standard Time in winter takes place closer to 1 p.m. During Daylight Saving Time in summer our solar noon happens closer to 2 p.m.
The Government of British Columbia plans to adopt a new permanent Pacific Time, which is the same calculation of time Yukon and BC currently use during Pacific Daylight Saving Time (March to November). This change will occur in March 2020.
Regardless of what Yukon chooses to do, Yukon will remain in sync with BC until at least November 2020.
What are the options?
Option A: Yukon stays on year-round Daylight Saving Time (UTC-7).
- Winter: Sunrises and sunsets will occur one hour later in the winter than we are used to, so there will be more daylight into the afternoon and evening.
- Summer: Time in the summer will be the same as it has been for many years.
- During the summer, Yukon would be one hour ahead of Alaska, and one hour behind Alberta and NWT.
- During the winter, Yukon time would be two hours ahead of Alaska, and equivalent to Alberta and NWT.
- This is the option BC is pursuing. If BC implements its current proposal, under this option Yukon and BC would follow the same time.
Option B: Yukon stays on year-round Standard Time (UTC-8).
- Winter: Time in the winter will be the same as it has been for many years.
- Summer: Sunrises and sunsets will occur one hour earlier in the summer than we are used to, so we will have more sunlight into late morning and midday.
- During the summer, Yukon would be an additional hour away from the rest of Canada when they are on Daylight Saving Time. Yukon and would be on the same time as Alaska, and two hours behind Alberta and NWT.
- During the winter, Yukon time would be one hour ahead of Alaska, and one hour behind Alberta and NWT.
- If BC implements its current proposal, under this option Yukon would be permanently one hour behind BC.
- Currently, no other jurisdiction plans to observe this time zone year-round.
Option C: Status quo
- Yukon will maintain twice-annual seasonal time change.
- Yukon would be aligned with BC during the summer, and would be one hour behind BC during the winter.
What are the implications of observing a single time year-round?
There are adverse effects linked to the transition into Daylight Saving Time. Some of these impacts are due to the immediate effects of the change itself and the recovery time the body needs to catch up to that. Once we’re on a year-round time, those transitional problems may no longer exist.
Our bodies’ rhythms are linked with the sun, and having the middle of the solar day misaligned with the clock can cause problems related to quality of sleep, and mental and physical health. Standard time more closely matches solar time (the sun clock). Some research has shown that our body clocks still follow more or less the time of the sun clock.
This public engagement will help inform government’s position and path forward on seasonal time changes.
We will consider the input we receive from this engagement when we make the decision on whether to change how Yukon observes time, along with scientific research and the decisions of neighbouring jurisdictions. Yukoners’ input will be valuable when we decide how our territory should move ahead.
How did we do at this public engagement? Tell us by completing a short questionnaire.