Fredericton — A new government proposal to give New Brunswick its own time zone has been met with broad support in the legislature, but with skepticism by critics. According to the government, the change would place New Brunswick in a time zone all its own, 15 minutes behind the rest of the Maritime provinces, which are on Atlantic Time.
Although changes to time zones are not uncommon, this 15-minute difference will be unique in world time zones.
“No other country or province in Canada has a time zone delineating itself from its neighbours by 15 minutes,” said Mac Murphy, minister for the little-known Department of Time Management, “so this will really set New Brunswick apart as an innovator in the space.”
The minister, who showed up 10 minutes late for our interview, went on to say that although they considered a difference of 30 minutes as well, as has North Korea recently, that didn’t quite feel right. “With 15 minutes, we still feel like we’re aligned with the rest of the Maritimes, but we’re also differentiating ourselves. It’s like when your sibling gets a red bike and you get a blue one — it’s still a bike, but it’s different as well.”
Not everyone is in favour of the change, however. Jane McTafferty, a biological research scientist at UNB, described the proposal as “incoherent nonsense.” “Why anyone would want to have the hassle of additional time zones is beyond me,” she said. “And why are you in my lab? Couldn’t you find a more relevant individual to quote?”
Rick Doucet, minister for Economic Development, was supportive of the proposal in spite of any opposition. “We know that Newfoundland, since they took the leap and started using a different time zone, has really developed a booming economy,” he said. “I mean, if you look back before they made that change, they had no Hibernia oil coming in, and now look at them! Just think, with this, maybe we’ll discover some oil fields of our own right in the Bay of Fundy.”
When asked about the cost of implementing the proposal, Minister Murphy was dismissive. “Sure, although we’ll have to replace all the clocks in the province, we really think the change will be worth it in the long term.”
This Manatee reporter queried why they couldn’t just turn the clocks back, to which the minister replied, “I’m really sorry, but it looks like I’m already late for my next meeting so we’ll really have to continue this interview another time.”
The proposal, once made law, is expected to be implemented in October.