One Nunavut riding wants to scrap daylight savings

Igloolik and Sanirajak residents don’t want to turn their clocks back this November, says MLA

The tower clock in Rankin Inlet. Residents of the riding of Amittuq want the Government of Nunavut to reconsider the need to observe daylight savings, says its MLA. (File photo)

By Sarah Rogers

One Nunavut MLA says his constituents aren’t looking forward to turning their clocks back this fall.

Residents of Igloolik and Sanirajak will observe the end of daylight savings on Nov. 1, as will most of the territory, shifting their clocks back one hour.

But Amittuq MLA Joelie Kaernerk, who represents those two communities, wants the Government of Nunavut to reconsider the need to observe daylight savings.

“Days will be shorter and it will get dark sooner, and it seems like you have to do it the other way around,” Kaernerk said on Tuesday, Sept. 22, during question period at the legislative assembly.

“How can I help them push for my constituents when they don’t want to turn back the clock?”

Daylight savings was introduced in Canada in the early 20th century as a means to save energy, by offering more light in the evening. But its popularity has varied over the years.

One Nunavut community opted years ago to ditch the time change and stay on central time. Coral Harbour decided in 2001 that it wouldn’t adjust its clocks for daylight time.

That means the Kivalliq community spends six months of the year on eastern time, out of sync with the rest of the region, returning each spring to central time.

The community made the move after the hamlet surveyed residents, who overwhelmingly wanted to ignore the required time change.

Saskatchewan has also been on standard time for decades.

Other Canadian jurisdictions have revisited the idea in recent years.

Yukon announced earlier this year that it will remain on Pacific daylight time all year round.

British Columbia has similarly introduced legislation to go with year-long daylight savings, while Alberta announced it is considering the same move.

Premier Joe Savikataaq told the legislature it wasn’t clear how one community could opt out of daylight savings, though he committed to finding out.

“I think it’s up to the communities,” Savikataaq said, in response to Kaernerk’s inquiry.

“I’m not aware of the process right now, but if we want to do it Nunavut-wide, we would have to consult with the regions, scheduled airlines, and business owners and how much they would be impacted.

“This is being considered all over Canada and it has been a concern of turning back the clocks,” he said.

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(11) Comments:

  1. Posted by Clockwork Orange on

    Like clockwork, this comes up every year and for good reason… yet we never seem to make any traction on having this changed, despite what seems to be a widespread consensus. Amazing…

  2. Posted by sleepy! on

    I’m from Iqaluit. Please, please scrap daylight savings. The change from light to dark and back is hard enough on the brain, but setting the clocks back an hour really messes things up even more. It is so hard on the body and mind. You wouldn’t think an hour would be a big deal, but it is, and it doesn’t really offer any benefits up here.

    • Posted by High school drop on

      It’s just 1 hour, it’s no big deal

      • Posted by sleepy! on

        Our bodies naturally run on 24 hour cycles. So the whole lose an hour gain an hour thing is something that is very hard on the brain, especially behind the scenes. And adjusting to the rapid increase of darkness and light is hard as it is, but daylight savings has been shown to disrupt our natural ability to adapt. And for what? Maybe there are benefits down south (but not really), but up here I can’t think of one.

      • Posted by Inuk1 on

        Daylight savings… hmm savings for whom? Do we need the extra daylight to farm up here? No… So why observe this useless endeavor? And before you can say “because everyone else does it/scheduling/blah blah blah,” remember Saskatchewan doesn’t observe daylight savings time and seem to be pretty cool with it. Time to get out of being a follower all of the time, do something and affect positive change. Ending daylight savings is a positive change for our circadian rhythm.

      • Posted by John on

        Yes it’s just one hour! So we don’t need it and it should not be a big deal to get rid of it, stop with this ridiculous time change, grow a pair and cancel it.

  3. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    GN it’s time to put your foot down on communities just deciding by themselves a few days, or weeks ahead whether they will or will not observe a Daylight Savings Time change.
    Do I need to remind you of the disastrous decisions that were made when the GN instituted a single time zone for Nunavut? How about the two time zone debacle? Remember when some communities decided to boycott these changes? Total CHAOS!
    Coral Harbour used to do this all the time. A week ahead (or once a week after) the time change, they decided that they didn’t want to observe it. Mayor & Council pass a motion, and that’s it! Except it isn’t.
    Airline schedules were screwed up for months in Computer Reservations Systems. You see they need to know what time zone each city uses, and whether they observe DST or not. The International Air Transport Association maintains a database for every airport (even Coral Harbour), but it takes time to update this database and then get the changes out to the CRS systems.
    So GN how about we do this, any community lets you know a year ahead if they will observe DST or not. If anyone changes you let IATA know a year ahead.
    No CHAOS.

    P.S. Smartphone makers would probably also thank you.

  4. Posted by Piitaqanngi on

    How about the absence of the Speaker weighing in on this. He’s supposed to be representing Igloolik. Yet we don’t hear anything to that effect. Is Joelie now the voice for Igloolik? Most of the time he doesn’t even seem to understand the implications of the Leg. decisions. Where is Paul Quassa in this debate?

  5. Posted by how on

    How is this a thing right now? There are some many major issues how does this become a priority? We voted for MLA’s to solve bigger problems

  6. Posted by Fred on

    Probably waiting for a consultant to tell them what to do, right Mr. Hickes:)

  7. Posted by Bert Rose on

    Qikiqtarjuaq ignored the time change nonsense in the early 1970s for one year
    I know that because I made the motion at Council

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