Post-election, Americans again consider the move to Canada

Judging by Google searches and the crash of Canada's immigration-service website, Americans are looking northward with longing again.

Toby Talbot/AP
Miguel Begin, the chief of operations for the Canada Border Services Agency's Stanstead sector, stands at the Canadian port of entry in Stanstead, Quebec, on Nov. 14, 2012.

Canada, do you remember America's disgruntled voters? Because they remember you.

The website of Canada’s immigration ministry kept crashing on Tuesday night as Donald Trump consolidated his lead in major battleground states, with an internal server error message appearing when users tried to access the site. Officials from the ministry have not commented on the reason for the outages, but social media users were quick to take note. And Google searches for “move to Canada” and “immigrate to Canada” spiked, according to Sky News, seeming to back the idea that an influx of traffic from the US was responsible.

Americans have long joked about moving to Canada when the election doesn’t go their way, and some have actually gone through with it: around 8,500 Americans per year since the early 2000s, as The Christian Science Monitor noted in March. That’s a significant bump upward from the roughly 5,000 annually from the pre-Bush years. And deep antipathy toward the new president-elect seems likely to spur a similar increase in would-be northbound immigration.

Some places in Canada might receive them with open arms. As the Monitor noted in February, the tourism office for one Nova Scotia island has offered itself as a refuge to Americans fleeing a Trump presidency:

The tourism office for the Nova Scotia island, Destination Cape Breton, is recruiting more residents to the island after the closing of local steel mills and coal mines, Aaron Smith reported for CNN. The promotion admits that Canada's winters might dissuade some, but insists it is barely worse than the American Northeast and points to the promise of available abortions for women, gun control, and free health care. 

"How much would it cost for a three bedroom lakeside home in your state?" the website finishes. "About a jillion dollars?  You would need to BE Donald Trump to afford a place like that. But in Cape Breton, we have the most affordable housing market in North America!"

Another crafty service marketed to Americans is a dating website that pairs them with available Canadians – a leg up, potentially, for those looking to get serious about getting citizenship there, as the Monitor reported in May:

Promising to "Make dating great again," the dating site "makes it easy for Americans to find the ideal Canadian partner to save them from the unfathomable horror of a Trump presidency."

And while Maple Match may seem like a silly rouse facetiously poking fun at the prospect of a "President Trump," it offers a very real service to no small number of Americans. According to a Tweet by Google data editor Simon Richards, after Super Tuesday, Google searches inquiring how to move to Canada surged by 1,150 percent after it became clear Mr. Trump could very well be on the Republican ticket.

More than 4,200 people have signed up for Maple Match since its launch..., 70 percent of whom are Canadians, and the page has already garnered over 36,000 views.

Leaving the country has seemed an appropriately dramatic gesture for actors, singers, and comedians ranging from Samuel L. Jackson to Cher to Amy Schumer, reported The Hill’s gossip blog back in May. But the destination of choice sometimes differs: for Ms. Schumer, it’s Spain; for Cher, it’s Jupiter. 

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