Should Americans fleeing Trump come to Digby instead of Cape Breton?

Published on April 12, 2017

François Fleury is the owner of the Calorie Counter Cafe, and says new people including Americans are welcome, so long as they leave their guns at home.

©Sara Ericsson

DIGBY, NS – Should Digby be the go-to-spot for Americans leaving the country because of their dissatisfaction for its current president?

A recent article published Apr. 8 by the Washington Post touts Cape Breton as the spot to be for Americans leaving the country in search of greener, more liberal pastures. The story mentions big spaces, beautiful views and cheap real estate as the area’s biggest draws.

But what about Digby County? We’ve got those things in spades, and historically have welcomed immigrants from many different areas.

We put it to the streets to hear what people had to say.


Nicola McCarthy

McCarthy lived in Cardiff, Wales before moving to Bridgetown permanently in December. She is in Digby for the day with a friend visiting from the United Kingdom, and knows firsthand what immigrating to Canada is like.

Nicola McCarthy, left, with a friend vitising from the U.K. McCarthy knows firsthand what it's like to move to Canada, and has many words of wisdom for any other newcomers.
Sara Ericsson

“As a Come From Away, or CFA, I know this is an accepting place for immigrants. If you integrate and contribute to society, this will definitely be a welcoming place for you,” she says.

François Fleury

François Fleury is the owner of the Calorie Counter Cafe, and says new people including Americans are welcome, so long as they leave their guns at home.
Sara Ericsson

Fleury and his wife Marie-Claude own the Calorie Counter Café on Water and Church Streets. His shop has a guestbook customers sign when they visit, and it bears the signatures of many Americans – from as far as Hawaii – who’ve walked through the doors and ordered a tasty treat. He says many of these visitors often talk about how much they want to live in Digby, and why the community is so special.

“We are free, here in Canada – free to speak, to think, to act. Americans don’t feel so free in their country, and that’s why they want to come here,” he says.

Fleury says Americans would be welcomed to Digby, on one condition.

“As long as they keep their guns at home, they’d be welcomed here with open arms,” he says.

Burt Haynes

Haynes has lived in Digby for many years, and is the owner of local celebrity pooch Maggie. He says Canada has always been a country that accepts newcomers, and that Digby could use some new faces.

Burt Haynes and his dog Maggie are Digby locals. He says newcomers are always welcome in Digby and are "good for the town."
Sara Ericsson

“We need more people here in Digby. People are great, and more of them wouldn’t be hurting anybody,” he says.

Susie Smith

Susie Smith is 78 in dog years, and has always loved meeting new people. She says Americans are always welcome in Digby, as long as they stop to give her a pat.
Sara Ericsson

Another sensational pooch had some choice words to say on Americans who may want to move to Digby County. Meet Susie Smith, a 14-year-old (that’s 78 dog years) Maltese-Toy Poodle mix, who loves to say hi to everyone she meets, including CFA’s. Her owners could not comment on the subject, but helped translate what she had to say.

“New people are always good for communities like Digby,” says Smith.

“Meeting them when I walk along the street is exciting, and just makes my day.”