Canada’s main immigration website appeared to suffer repeated outages on Tuesday night as Trump took the lead in several major states and his prospects for winning the US presidency turned markedly higher.
Just as the race was kicking off many Americans joked that they would move out of the US, namely to Canada, if Trump won the presidency.
Searches for the word “emigrate” also jumped in the United States as the Republican steamed ahead in Tuesday’s election, the Telegraph reported.
Even ahead of election day, many celebrities expressed their discontent with Trump’s anti-immigration and borderline racist remarks, and have threatened to leave the US if the Republican wins.
Officials for the ministry could not immediately be reached for comment, but the website’s problems were noted by many on Twitter.
— Miguel Ramos (@MRamosTV) November 9, 2016
The website of Immigration Canada has crushed.
— Maxim Eristavi (@MaximEristavi) November 9, 2016
Data from Google Trends also suggested searches for “move to Canada” spiked significantly during the night as Trump victories unfolded in key battle states such as Florida and Ohio.
Canadians took to Twitter to comment on the night’s developments, with #MeanwhileInCanada soon trending in the country.
#MeanwhileInCanada Canadian geese don't know if they are going to fly south yet
— Jake Ploughman (@jevp15) November 9, 2016
— Cause We're Canadian (@MadelnCanada) November 8, 2016
#MeanwhileInCanada I don't even have a joke I'm just glad I'm Canadian.
— Amy Munro (@lilchicgeek) November 9, 2016
Caitlin Green tweeted: “If anyone needs me I’ll be drinking maple syrup until I pass out, while singing Oh Canada.”
Singer Marcio Novelli wrote: “Canada is the second largest country in the world with one-tenth of America’s population. We’ve got room.”
And in what many viewed as a reference to the Republican candidate, the official Canada Twitter account posted: “In Canada immigrants are encouraged to bring their cultural traditions with them and share them with their fellow citizens.”
In Canada, immigrants are encouraged to bring their cultural traditions with them and share them with their fellow citizens. pic.twitter.com/MOuStZbSX7
— Canada (@Canada) November 9, 2016
The idea of Americans decamping to Canada, where liberal PM Justin Trudeau is in power, if Trump wins has been bubbling along throughout the election.
In February, the island of Cape Breton on Canada’s Atlantic coast marketed itself as a tranquil refuge for Americans seeking to escape should Trump capture the White House.
Reuters and Press Association contributed to this post