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magazine / so98

September/October 1998 issue


It's about TIME
By H. David Matthews and Mary Vincent

WE ARE A COUNTRY of chronic lawbreakers. From east to west, Canada is neatly divided into six time zones. But many Canadians choose to make their own time and ignore the time zone boundaries. And the rule that clocks spring forward on the first Sunday in April and fall back on the last Sunday in October? In some parts of Canada, the times are never a-changin': we all know that Saskatchewan doesn't use daylight savings, but other pockets of the country don't bother with it either. And while Alberta's time-abiding citizens strictly follow Mountain Time - violators can be slapped with a $25 fine - these maps illustrate Canada's time zone anomalies.

The Northwest Territories has four time zones and no shortage of time zone quirks. The Canadian Forces station at Alert uses Eastern Time while the handful of residents at the Eureka weather station skip daylight savings. Baffin Island, which is crossed by the Central, Eastern and Atlantic Time zones only uses Eastern Time. Gjoa Haven, Taloyoak and Pelly Bay all use Mountain instead of Central Time and Southampton Island is not required to use daylight savings.


Time stands still around the British Columbia communities of Fort St. John and Dawson Creek. Residents are on Mountain Standard Time year round, meaning Mountain Time in the winter and Pacific Time in the summer.

The East Kootenays are an hour or so ahead of their time: from Cranbrook to Golden, they follow Mountain Time while Creston ignores daylight savings, putting the town on Mountain Time in the winter and Pacific Time in the summer.

Canada's border city Lloydminster, which straddles the Alberta- Saskatchewan divide, has a special charter permitting the use of Mountain Time with daylight savings.

Residents of Denare Beach and Creighton break Saskatchewan's anti-daylight savings law by putting their clocks ahead during the summer to keep up with their neighbours in Flin Flon, Manitoba.

Right on the time zone boundary, Pickle Lake and New Osnaburgh do not bother with daylight savings and, despite being east of the 90th meridian, Big Trout Lake follows Central Time.

To keep up with the big city of Thunder Bay, Upsala and Shebandowan break the rules and use Eastern Time, while Atikokan ignores daylight savings, meaning residents use Eastern Time in the winter and Central Time in the summer.

Quebec's far eastern North Shore is supposed to use Atlantic Standard Time year round with no daylight savings, but residents as far east as Natashquan use Eastern Time like the rest of the province. And while Labrador should follow Newfoundland Time, most parts, with the exception of the southeast corner, use Atlantic Time.


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