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Saskatchewan’s Split Cities with Neighbors in Uncommon Position Due to Province’s Lack of Daylight Savings Time

While most of Canada changes clocks to follow daylight savings time, border cities in Saskatchewan find themselves divided as the province has uniform time that does not change.

Three municipalities in Saskatchewan straddle the border with another province: Lloydminster on the west with Alberta, and Creighton and Flin Flon on the east with Manitoba.

“We are kind of unique in our situation because we’re kind of viewed as a tri-region,” said Brooke White, a regional tourism officer for Creighton and Flin Flon.

She said the two communities in Saskatchewan follow along with Manitoba rather than the rest of the province.

“So it can be kind of confusing at times. But it’s just because mainly, I suppose, like everyone knows the communities. They come here for work and groceries and it’s just probably simpler to do.”

In Lloydminster, where the border with Alberta divides the city into two, they change time twice a year, according to the city’s communication department.

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“The time change doesn’t change much in the way of business,” an email to The Epoch Times said. “From our perspective, it does change how meetings are handled, especially when interacting with Saskatchewan vendors or the provincial government.

Some neighbouring Saskatchewan communities also change time to keep in step with Alberta, including Marsden, Neilburd, Marshall, Lashburn, and Maidstone, according to the email.

“Because these towns are so connected to Lloydminster, they have opted to change to keep things simple,” the email said.

Prior to the 1960s, communities in the province were allowed to decide for themselves which time zone to follow. The provincial government developed legislation that required most of the province to stick to Central Standard Time (CST) all year round.

The Time Act (1966) cleared the chaos that had existed up to that point as some communities were using CST and others, particularly in the southern part of Saskatchewan, used Mountain Standard Time (MST), according to a government website.

“In what government considered a compromise solution to establishing uniform time, effective April 27, 1958, legislation was passed switching the entire province to CST until October, and MST for the winter months,” the website said. “The government chose not to enforce this legislation and the result was chaos as dozens of communities in the southeast refused to change to MST in the fall of 1958.”

The Act said that CST would be used in eastern and northeastern Saskatchewan all year round. CST would also dominate in northwestern parts of the province unless a majority vote decided otherwise.

In western Saskatchewan, CST was to be observed during the summer period between April and October. In the winter, MST would be observed, unless residents voted for CST.

“In recent years, the majority of time option areas in western Saskatchewan have voted to observe CST throughout the year,” the website said, meaning most of the province observes CST all year.

Daylight savings time will begin at 2 a.m. on March 10.

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