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Nunavut to follow new seasonal time standard

Kent Driscoll
Northern News Services
Friday, February 19, 2007

IQALUIT - Nunavut has decided to follow the rest of North America, and join the new standard for daylight savings time.

Clocks in the territory will now spring ahead one hour on March 11, and will fall back one hour on Nov. 4.

Vicki Aitaok of Cambridge Bay has been waiting for this day to come. When the rest of the continent chose to follow the new hours, she was scratching her head, wondering why Nunavut was still deciding.

“It just didn’t make any sense to cause confusion for a couple of weeks. I am very pleased with the decision. Obviously, somebody was thinking,” said Aitaok.

In Grise Fiord, the sun can shine for 24 hours, and can be gone for the same.

“In the spring, it is less of a concern than in the fall, but I haven’t heard anything one way or another,” said Marty Kuluguqtuq, assistant SAO for the hamlet.

Kuluguqtuq was quick to point out the difference between daylight and sunlight for Nunavut’s most northern community. When your sun disappears in the winter, every ray counts.

“We get a purple hazy sky before we get sun. In the spring and fall, the sun rises at around 7:30 a.m., and sets at around 5 p.m.,” said Kuluguqtuq.

Nunavut is the only jurisdiction in Canada that spans three time zones, and watching the clock is a part of Nunavut’s short history.

One of the first moves the Government of Nunavut made upon its inception was to set all the clocks to one standard time. By March of 2001, the decision was reversed, and Nunavut returned to three separate time zones.