Yukon Refuses to Fall Back; Maryland Falls Out of Line

This small Canadian territory does what no mere United State can do.
The Northern Lights in the Yukon.
The Northern Lights in the Yukon.

A titanic shift in timekeeping practices is soon upon us: the Yukon territory of Canada will end seasonal time changes after they spring forward on Sunday.

In October, instead of falling back to Pacific Standard Time, the people of Yukon will remain in Pacific Daylight Saving Time. Chronological shifts will not disturb their daily rhythms this autumn.

The government decision results from an official online (hoo boy!) survey that took place earlier this year, itself the result of a legislative action a couple years ago. Among 4,800 survey responses from Yukon people and organizations, 93% wanted to end seasonal clock changes. That leaves a second decision: to be on permanent standard time or permanent daylight time (i.e., to be the time in winter year-round or the time in summer). And among those responses, 70% favored permanent Pacific Daylight Saving Time.

The Yukon official press release notes that more people responded to this survey than they did to the 2017 survey on legalizing cannabis (hoo boy!).

Meanwhile, in Maryland, a new bill proposed in the state legislature would put the state’s clocks on permanent daylight saving time as well. But unlike territories and provinces in Canada, states in the US do not have the legal authority to adopt permanent daylight saving time, so Maryland cannot boldly go where Yukon has gone before. That’s because the Uniform Time Act of 1966 authorizes states to opt out of DST and stay permanently on their respective standard times, but it does not authorize them to stay permanently on their respective daylight times.

If the Maryland bill is passed, then that state would join Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington in chronological purgatory as they wait for the federal government’s legislative blessing.