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.
Some users in the United States, Canada and Asia saw an internal server error message when trying to access the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.
When the Guardian clicked on the page it would not load and a “this page isn’t working” error message came up.
Officials for the ministry could not immediately be reached for comment, but the website’s problems were noted by many on Twitter.
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.
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.”
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.