New found law: time crime in Labrador

The continental half of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has been using the wrong time for 82 years
Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador may have the same flag, but outside that they're timing is a little off. (© Juergen Priewe | Dreamstime)

This Sunday, nearly all of Canada "fell back". That's right, it was the end of Daylight Savings Time (DST) and that meant some extra sleeping-in time as we set the clocks back an hour.

Today, DST is a bit of a controversial topic, with many saying that the system has negative effects on our sleeping patterns and health. For half the year, it can feel like we're in the wrong time zone. But according to a reporter at the Telegram in St. John's, Newfoundland, there's a place in Canada that is always in the wrong time zone.

We're looking at you, Labrador.

Sibling rivalry

Embed from Getty Images

Labrador (left) and Newfoundland (right) have a timing issue. (Getty Embed)

It's a little awkward for a reporter from Newfoundland to be calling out Labrador. After all, Newfoundland and Labrador are the only brother-sister province in Canada (we're not sure which is which...). If you have a brother or sister, imagine them telling you that you've been doing something the wrong way your whole life.

And there it is right in the provincial laws: all of Labrador is required to observe the Newfoundland Standard Time (NST). And it's been a law since 1935 — that's 14 years before Newfoundland and Labrador even officially joined Canada. Yet nearly all of Labrador follows Atlantic Standard Time (AST) instead.

So what's taking so long to switch back, Labrador?

Quirky timing

Embed from Getty Images

The major time zones are divided into units of whole hours. Newfoundland is one of the quirky exceptions to the rule... (Getty Embed)

As it turns out though, it's Newfoundland that is the real rebel here. You see, there are 24 fairly standard time zones around the world. They begin at Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and move in one hour blocks heading west around the planet. Of course, when some places begin to observe DST changes, that can push clocks further an hour in one direction. But still, all time zones are separated in increments of hours.

Embed from Getty Images

St. John's is as far east as you can get in Canada. (Getty Embed)

Not Newfoundland's. Newfoundland Standard Time is a half hour ahead of AST. That means that when it's 9:00am in Halifax, it's 9:30am in St. John's. This might feel a bit odd to the rest of the country, but Newfoundlanders love it. It's even a point of pride! Not to mention that being the furthest-east part of Canada, it makes a certain amount of sense.

Meanwhile, though Labrador is officially in the same province as Newfoundland, its geographic position is firmly in the same space as the rest of the Maritimes. It's AST all the way!

For the time being, there's no plan to punish Labrador for its clock mockery.

2 commentsWrite a message

Tell US what you think

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


 :-)  ;-)  :-D  :-(  :-P  :-o  :-x  :-|  :-?  8-)  8-O  :cry:  :lol:  :roll:  :idea:  :!:  :?:  :oops:

The last 10 Weird Zone articles