Gouvernement du Québec - Justice

Legal time in Québec

Current situation

Acts currently in effect

On January 1, 2007, the Legal Time Act Clicking on this icon will take you to another website. (S.Q., chapter 39) replaced the Official Time Act (chapter T-6) and extended the duration of daylight saving time.

The Interpretation Act Clicking on this icon will take you to another website. (R.S.C., c. I-21), a federal law that contains provisions about legal time in Canada, reiterates the provisions of the various provincial or territorial laws.

Legal time

In the part of Québec west of the meridian of 63 degrees west longitude,

  • the legal time is Eastern Standard Time, which is five hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC – 5 h) ;
    EXCEPT
  • from the second Sunday in March at 2:00 a.m. to the first Sunday in November at 2:00 a.m., the legal time is Eastern Daylight Saving Time, which is four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC – 4 h).

In the part of Québec east of the meridian of 63 degrees west longitude,

  • the legal time is Atlantic Standard Time, which is four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC – 4 h).

Exceptions

In the Minganie region that includes Île d’Anticosti, Eastern Standard Time or Eastern Daylight Time applies.

Note:  Basse-Côte-Nord is not among the exceptions, because Atlantic Standard Time applies there year round as provided in section 2 of the Legal Time Act.

In Îles-de-la-Madeleine and the Listuguj reserve, from the second Sunday in March at 2:00 a.m. to the first Sunday in November at 2:00 a.m., the legal time is Atlantic Daylight Saving Time, which is three hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC – 3 h)

The meridian of 63 degrees west longitude

The line

  • The meridian of 63° west longitude runs just east of Havre-Saint-Pierre, cuts through Île d'Anticosti roughly in the middle and continues between the Gaspésie region and Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

The largest portion of Québec, in terms of both area and population, is located to the west of the meridian of 63° west longitude.

The portion of Québec located to the east of the meridian of 63° west longitude consists of:

  • A portion of the Minganie region, including Baie-Johann-Beetz, Aguanish, Natashquan, the eastern half of Île-d’Anticosti and a portion of the unorganized territory of Lac-Jérôme;
  • The municipalities of Côte-Nord-du-Golfe-Saint-Laurent, Saint-Augustin, Bonne-Espérance and Blanc-Sablon, the Native communities of the Basse-Côte-Nord as well as the unorganized territories of Petit-Mécatina;
  • Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Definitions

Longitude

An angular distance on the earth's surface, measured east or west from the prime meridian at Greenwich, England, to the meridian passing through a position, expressed in degrees (or hours) minutes, and seconds. Longitude ranges from 0 to 180 degrees west or east.

Meridian

An imaginary circle passing through any place on the earth's surface and through the North and South geographic poles and used calculate longitude. Forming a right angle with the equator, the meridians divide the earth's surface into 360 large circles crossing the North and South poles. The most well-known meridian at 0º longitude is that of Greenwich, England, which served for a long time as the international reference for setting time.

Coordinated Universal Time

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) replaced Greenwich Mean Time and is used to establish the legal basis for calculating time throughout most of the world. In its role as the zero-point reference, it serves for all events, whether meteorological or other. UTC is the standard time common to every place in the world. This characteristic is essential when charting the weather, for example, for several time zones at once.

Introduction
Current situation
Legislation concerning legal time in Québec, from 1880 to 2007
Maps of legal time in Québec
     • Customs recognized by the Act
     • The situation in Minganie and Basse-Côte-Nord

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Latest update: April 28, 2009



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