Fifth-generation New Richmond anglo laments out-migration

Bruce Willett says more and more of the youth in New Richmond are leaving because job opportunities are scarce in the region.
Bruce Willett has lived in New Richmond, Que. most of his life, like much of his family. (CBC)

Bruce Willett has deep roots in the Baie des Chaleurs region but understands why more and more of the anglophone youth are moving away to find opportunities in the cities.

Willett is the fifth generation of his family to be part of the small anglophone community within the town of New Richmond. He lives in the family home built in 1872.

But he wasn’t immune to the lure of the city himself. He left the town to go to school, much like his mother and father did as well as most of their siblings.

"Our young people are still going away to school," Willett told Quebec AM.

"The opportunities are not there for them to study here. You get touched with the vibrancy of Montreal, Quebec City or Toronto and you don’t want to come back."

He notes that a big factor in youth moving away is the dying down of key industries that once drove the region like pulp and paper and mining.

"For a lot of people, it’s tough for it to be home because what is here? It’s such a gorgeous place but you can’t eat the scenery," he said.

For Willett, his family history and love of country brought him back to New Richmond after graduating, a town he still adores.