The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has released its What We Heard Report on Seasonal Time Change.
The What We Heard Report includes a summary of the feedback received from the six-week public engagement that took place from April 4, 2022, to May 16, 2022. Northwest Territories (NWT) residents were asked whether they want to keep the twice-annual time change or permanently adopt a single time.
The online survey received approximately 3,545 responses from self-identified NWT residents. 3,071 survey respondents were in favour of ending seasonal time changes and switching to a permanent time standard, with 53.2% of respondents preferring Mountain Daylight Saving Time. The most common factor behind this preference was a desire for more sunlight hours in the day.
The results of this public engagement will help inform the decision of Executive Council in terms of whether seasonal time changes should be eliminated and what permanent time standard should be adopted.
Yukon, Saskatchewan, and parts of Nunavut and Quebec have already ended seasonal time changes. Alberta held a referendum in 2021 where a narrow majority of voters rejected a proposal to do the same. In 2019 and 2020, British Columbia and Ontario passed laws to allow them to end seasonal time changes, and to move to permanent Daylight Saving Time. These laws have not yet gone into effect and both provinces continue to change their clocks twice a year.
No decisions have been made at this time but if the GNWT decides to move to a permanent time, it will not happen immediately. A significant transition period would be needed to notify residents, organizations, businesses, industry, and technology and telecommunications providers in order to allow for them to prepare for the change.