NWT divided on which seasonal time change is best 

Last modified: November 5, 2022 at 1:20pm


On Sunday at 2am, it’s time to turn your clocks back – possibly marking one of the last time changes before the territory stops changing the clocks twice a year.

In the legislative on Wednesday, justice minister RJ Simpson said during the six-week engagement session on time change held this spring, there were thousands of responses within the first few days.

“Eighty-seven percent, so over 3,000 of those 3,500 people [who filled out the survey], wanted to get rid of seasonal time change,” said Simpson when telling Yellowknife North MLA Rylund Johnson that unfortunately there were two or three more time changes to come before a permanent time change.

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Things get tricky, however, because when it comes to choosing either daylight saving (time time we follow in the summer) or standard time (the time we follow in the winter), the survey respondents were spilt.

“Just over half wanted to go with daylight savings time permanently and while the rest wanted to stick with standard time,” said Simpson, noting the survey is just the beginning of the conversation.

Just over half of the people who filled out the time change survey would like Mountain Daylight Saving Time permanently.

“The Yukon recently got rid of seasonal time change, and there’s a lot of lessons learned from there. It is not a simple task. It might sound simple but it is by no means simple,” he said, nothing there are hundreds if not thousands of things that need to be done in the right order to enact a permanent time change.

It’s not as simple as just telling everyone to change their clocks at home – the government also needs to work with satellite companies, railroads, airlines, and big companies like Microsoft and Apple, to ensure the permanent time change happens smoothly.

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“I know that personally I would like to see it happen but is it worth the cost to government and the cost of the public and potential cost to the residents of the territory?” Simpson questioned. He did not provided an estimated dollar figure for the work.

A “what we heard” report summarizing the the survey responses will be released by the GNWT in the next few weeks.