Perched on a low brick wall in front of the town hall, Emma Osmond offers a warm smile from behind a thick mane of windswept hair and a green Bristol board she’s using to both educate passersby and shield herself from the relentless spring wind.
“I think the government isn’t doing bold enough actions, because right now this is like a climate crisis, and it hasn’t been declared, and really they’re falling behind on awareness as well,” said the 14-year-old.
Like students across the country, Emma went on strike from school on Friday, May 3 in honour of Canada’s national climate strike day. The event, called Fridays For Future, part of a global initiative originated by Greta Thunberg in August 2018, continues to gain youth support in Canada.
In Port aux Basques, that support came solely from Emma, who stumbled upon the website and wanted to do her part.
She was the only student to strike from school, leaving around one o’clock to spend the better part of the afternoon raising community awareness.
“Nobody else believed it,” says Emma about being the lone protestor. “I think that people just don’t assume… like they don’t realize that it’s going to happen now. They think it’s generations and generations away but in reality, it’s real. It’s right here and right now.”
Emma notes that in this region, there are many homes built close to the water. She cites the extensive flooding which caused massive property damage in Ottawa, Québec and New Brunswick as examples of the danger of ignoring climate change.
“That could be a result of climate change and, like, ice is melting. That could cause sea level rising, and a lot of people here depend on the fisheries. That’s going to impact people a lot.”
For more information about striking for climate change, visit: www.fridaysforfuture.ca.