You’ve heard it before: ‘If “X” wins the election, I’m moving to Canada.’
It’s a claim that seemingly gets thrown around every time there’s a contentious U.S. election.
But are they serious this time? You might get that impression if you were to visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website tonight, which has crashed for some users several times tonight as election results began to show a Donald Trump breakthrough in election results.
The CIC website acts as a portal to immigration services for the country and provides information on how to gain citizenship.
But visitors were greeted with error messages, possibly as thousands of Americans began to check their options.
The federal agency has yet to comment on the apparent outages, which were reported by people in Canada, the U.S, and as far away as Asia.
Google trends also show a steep spike in queries on how to “move to Canada” peaking around 9 p.m., when it began to become clear that Hillary Clinton’s “blue firewall” of rustbelt states was crumbling.
The outage was quickly noticed by the online community, some seriously and some with their tongue planted firmly in cheek.
The Canadian immigration site -- https://t.co/ndxYr5ZaDu -- is currently down, presumably under the strain of unprecedented demand.— Ina Fried (@inafried) November 9, 2016
Probably due to the high amount of journalists checking if Canada's immigration website has crashed, over and over. https://t.co/waBwBxJicQ— Gina Phillips (@ginaphillips) November 9, 2016
Last spring, an Ipsos-Global News poll found 19 per cent of American respondents would consider moving to Canada rather than live under a President Trump.
And last month, careers website Monster.Com reported the number of Americans searching for jobs in Canada has surged by 50% in the last year.
The prospect of a Trump presidency has also prompted the tongue in cheek “Cape Breton if Trump Wins” campaign urging Americans to move to Nova Scotia.
“We are an island about the same size as the Hawaiian Big Island, on the East Coast of Canada. We always rank high on travel magazine lists of beautiful islands. But we are experiencing a bit of a population problem at the moment. We need people. We need you!”
Late this evening, the Mayor of Lethbridge also tweeted out that his city would be open to American “refugees,” a sentiment echoed by B.C.’s mines minister Bill Bennett.
Lethbridge, Alberta is the first Canadian city to create an American refugee re-settlement program #yql WELCOME our U.S. Neighbours— Chris Spearman (@Spearmac) November 9, 2016
With files from Andrew Russell, Carmen Chai, and Tania Kohut, Global News