- By Kavitha SuranaKavitha Surana is a fellow at Foreign Policy. She has reported from Italy, Germany, and Senegal and her stories have been published in the past by the Associated Press, Quartz, Al Jazeera, CNN, GlobalPost and OZY. She holds a joint master’s degree in journalism and European and Mediterranean studies from New York University.
Aaand the Canadian immigration website is down for the count. Apparently the poor thing just couldn’t keep up with anxious Americans grasping late Tuesday for an exit strategy as Republican Donald Trump appeared poised to take the U.S. election in a surprise upset over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
It’s not surprising many Americans repulsed by Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and bombastic personality would turn to their northern neighbors in crisis. Beyond its proximity, Canada is an attractive haven of values that Trump railed against during his campaign, with its generous Syrian refugee program, decent welfare system, and Obama-friendly, mild-mannered prime minister. (And Canadians would never think to build a wall against Trump-fleeing Americans, would they?)
Surprising no one, this isn’t the first time the Canadian immigration site has had trouble keeping up with American demand. It also crashed back on Super Tuesday in March, when Trump demonstrated a staying power many had underestimated. Google searches for “move to Canada” also spiked that day.
Canadians, true to their nice-guy reputation, have tried to make things easier on stressed Americans during this roller coaster election season. In July, Air Canada launched a “Test Drive Canada” ad campaign, inviting Americans to check out the country, just in case the election went sideways.
That was a bit cheeky but in October, when America seemed on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Canadians tried to give their U.S. friends the equivalent of a back massage with a “Tell America it’s Great” self-esteem booster social media initiative from an advertisement company.
That’s nice, but maybe it would have been more helpful to beef up their website’s back-end support. If Clinton’s numbers don’t bounce back, the demand knocking on Canada’s door might only grow.
Photo credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images