DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME IN CANADA

In Canada, daylight saving time (DST) is observed in nine of the country’s ten provinces and two of its three territories – although there are exceptions in parts of several provinces and Nunavut

Under the Canadian Constitution, laws regarding timekeeping are a territorial and territorial matter.  Most of Saskatchewan, although geographically located in the mountain time zone, observes year-round Central Time (CST). In 2020, Yukon County abandoned the seasonal time change to permanently observe Mountain Standard Time (MST) year-round.

In areas of Canada where daylight saving time is used, it begins on the second Sunday of March at 2 am and terminates on the first Sunday of November at 2 a.m. As a result, DST in Canada lasts a total of 34 weeks (238 days) each year, or about 65 percent of the entire year.

Port Arthur, Ontario (now part of Thunder Bay), was the first municipality in the world to implement daylight saving time, on July 1, 1908.  (Germany later became the first country to adopt a time change, on April 30 1916).

Six Canadian cities, by local ordinance, used DST before 1918: Regina, Saskatchewan, on April 23, 1914; Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba on April 24, 1916; then Halifax, Nova Scotia; Hamilton, Ontario; and Montreal, Quebec.  St. John’s, Newfoundland (now Newfoundland and Labrador) also used DST prior to 1918, but the province itself did not become part of Canada until 1949. 

In practice, since the late 1960s, DST across Canada has been closely or fully synchronized with its observance in the United States to facilitate consistent economic and social interaction. When daylight saving time became standardized across the United States in 1966 when Congress passed the Standard Time Act, Canada quickly followed suit. Daylight saving time ended in October until 1986, when the end of the period was changed to November. When the United States extended DST in 1987 to the first Sunday in April, all Canadian jurisdictions that observe DST followed suit.

The most recent change in the United States (the Energy Policy Act of 2005), adding parts of March and November to the period during which DST is observed beginning in 2007, is adopted by the various provinces and territories on the following dates:

Ontario and Manitoba – October 20, 2005

Quebec – December 5, 2005

Prince Edward Island – December 6, 2005

New Brunswick – December 23, 2005

Alberta – February 2, 2006

Northwest Territories – 4 March 2006

British Columbia – March 31, 2006

Nova Scotia – April 25, 2006

Yukon – July 14, 2006

Newfoundland and Labrador – November 20, 2006, but officially announced January 18, 2007

Nunavut – February 19, 2007

Saskatchewan – No official action is taken as almost all counties do not observe DST and stay in CST year-round.

However, the few places in the province that follow DST (Lloydminster and the surrounding area, which straddles the Alberta border and observes Mountain Time; and Creighton, which observes DST on an informal basis due to its proximity to the border with Manitoba) follow the above schedule from March to November like the rest of the country.

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