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Clock may now be running on time changes in the NWT


The Northwest Territories will survey residents in one of the first tangible steps the territory has taken toward possible elimination of annual time changes.

For six weeks from April 4, residents will be able to access an online survey that asks them “to share their views on seasonal time change,” minister RJ Simpson said on Wednesday.

Announcement of the survey was greeted by mild hoots from certain regular MLAs. Yellowknife North’s Rylund Johnson, in particular, has for years pursued the elimination of twice-yearly time changes.

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Simpson said residents will be asked whether they want the time changes to continue or, if not, whether they would prefer to stick with daylight savings time or standard time.

In 2020, Yukon permanently moved to what was previously considered its daylight savings arrangement. Late last year, Alberta – to which the NWT had said it would look for guidance – narrowly voted to keep twice-yearly time changes.

Simpson said the survey results would “help us determine when and how we will eliminate seasonal time changes,” a choice of wording that could be interpreted to imply the territorial government expects, ultimately, to do away with time changes.

Indigenous and community governments, businesses and other groups will be consulted, the minister added.

The results of the survey and other feedback will be compiled in a report to be released later this year. Beyond that, no timeline for the government to make a decision was identified.

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