Canada immigration site crashes as Trump wins US election

Canada’s immigration site crashed this morning, as Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.

The property developer’s surprise win against Hillary Clinton became clear in the early hours of this morning, UK time, just as the Canadian site stopped working, apparently due to strong user demand. Indeed, according to Google Trends, searches for the phrase “move to Canada” soared around 2am UK time and continued to stay above normal levels for the rest of the morning, as some Americans searched for ways to move north of the border. Twitter users, meanwhile, took to the web to share photos of the website not working in their web browsers.

Their neighbouring country, led by liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has a notably friendly policy towards immigration. Last month, the Government of Canada reinforced its support of people moving to Canada, which it described as “inseparable from the story of Canada itself”, with plans to welcome 300,000 immigrants in 2017 to “support economic growth and innovation in Canada while helping to reunite more families and reduce processing times”. Canada’s property has even proven so popular to overseas investors that Vancouver recently introduced a tax for foreign real estate purchases, in an attempt to help cool rising prices.

“In Canada, immigrants are encouraged to bring their cultural traditions with them and share them with their fellow citizens,” tweeted the country’s official Twitter account earlier today, while the US election results were being announced.

The two countries have always been close; they share the longest land border in the world and see hundreds of thousands people travelling between the nations every day. In October, the Garden Collective, a creative agency in Toronto, launched a campaign designed to emphasise Canadians’ fondness for their American cousins, with the message “Tell America It’s Great”, inspired by Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”.

The apparent surge in interest in emigrating to Canada echoes a similar trend that was observed in the wake of the UK’s recent vote to leave the European Union, when enquiries for Irish citizenship spiked.