Canada’s immigration site crashed on Tuesday as it became clear that Donald Trump would become the next President of the United States.
While the site seems to be up and running now, at around 10:30 p.m. — a little over an hour after CNN announced key states such as Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and Florida favored Trump — visitors considering a migration north saw only an error message, and one which would stick around for several hours:
Beyond the website itself, Canada has seen a rash of popular interest on the Internet over the past 12 hours. Indeed, Business Insider reports that its top story has been “How to move to Canada and become a Canadian citizen,” with Google search traffic on Canada soaring as well.
Malfunctioning site aside, a move to Canada is a difficult one: In recent years, the immigration system has seen a restructuring which makes applicants “compete” against one another for increasingly limited amounts of spots, and has temporarily suspended parent and grandparent sponsorship programs that make it easier for families to move together.
Still, this assumes that people actually have the drive to move to Canada for political purposes, which the numbers can’t definitively verify one way or the other. According to NPR, while the Canadian government possesses data on how many people move there, they don’t have data on why.
Some look at spikes in U.S. immigration to Canada — such as a 2001-2009 surge in the number of U.S. citizens who became Canadian permanent residents each year — as proof that politics does push Americans north, but others are more circumspect and point to a floundering economy.
“I think there is probably a more direct correlation to the strength of the U.S. economy than to presidents,” Joel Guberman, a Toronto-based immigration lawyer, told NPR. “It appears that the high is 2008-09. The worst years for the U.S. are the highest exits, while very prosperous years are lower.”
As for what may happen under Donald Trump, only time will tell.
Next, see what the election results may have looked like if Bernie Sanders had run against Trump.