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NST is UTC−3:30

The Newfoundland Time Zone (NT) is a geographic region that keeps time by subtracting 3½ hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), resulting in UTC−3:30, or 2½ hours during daylight saving time. The clock time in this zone is based on the mean solar time of the 52nd degree and 30 arcminute meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory.

NT is used only in Canada, and there only by the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Officially, the entire province is in the Newfoundland Time Zone by legislation.[1] In practice, however, it is observed only on the island of Newfoundland, its offshore islands, and southeastern Labrador communities south of Black Tickle. The rest of Labrador, from Cartwright north and west, observes Atlantic Standard Time. Southeastern Labrador prefers Newfoundland Time in part to synchronize with the schedule of radio broadcasts from Newfoundland.

This unique time zone exists because of the location of the island and the fact that it was a separate dominion when the time zones were established. The island of Newfoundland lies squarely in the eastern half of the Atlantic Standard Time Zone, exactly three and a half hours from Greenwich and, as a separate country, it had the ability to adopt its own timezone. While the entire province lies west of the standard meridian for a half-hour time zone, 52.5 degrees west longitude, this is also the near exact meridian of St. John's, the province's capital and largest city. In 1963, the Newfoundland government attempted to bring the province into conformity with the other Atlantic provinces, but withdrew in the face of stiff public opposition.[2]

Daylight saving time is observed throughout the province. In 1988 the provincial government experimented with double daylight saving time, moving clocks ahead two hours during daylight saving time instead of just one. This move proved unpopular in the fall when children started going to school in the dark. In 2006, the province enacted an extension to daylight saving time,[3] starting in 2007, following the lead of the United States and other Canadian provinces.

This unusual time zone puts the island of Newfoundland an hour and a half ahead of Central Canada, a half hour ahead of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and half an hour behind Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. Because of this, it will hit milestones of time before (almost) any other part of the continent, a quirk that draws attention to Newfoundland. For instance the Newfoundland release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Halo 2 was publicized across Canada.

Likewise, in the case of Canada-wide broadcasts timed to be heard at the same hour in the rest of the country through the use of a different feed for each time zone, Newfoundland uses Atlantic-time broadcasts, so references to programs being at "six o'clock, six-thirty in Newfoundland" are commonly heard across Canada. However, a station in St. John's originating local programming may refer to it as "coming up at six-thirty, six o'clock in most of Labrador".

Major metropolitan areas

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Sources

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