The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Canada’s immigration website has crashed and people are wondering whether Trump is the reason

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Americans opposed to Donald Trump have frequently joked about moving to the United States' northern neighbor, Canada, should Trump really become president. As that scenario started to become increasingly likely Tuesday evening, Canada's immigration website suddenly went down.

It was not immediately clear whether the site crash was connected to a sudden increase in traffic or whether the breakdown was coincidental. The Reuters news agency reported that Canadian officials could not be reached for comment.

To many commentators on Twitter and other social networks, however, there were few doubts that the site breakdown was connected to the growing likelihood of a Trump presidency.

Over the past several months, Canadians have frequently joked about the possibility of not allowing Americans into their country after the Nov. 8 election.

When a website was launched that encouraged Americans skeptical of or opposed to Trump to move to the remote Canadian island of Cape Breton, it was mainly perceived as a joke.

“We welcome all, no matter who you support, be it Democrat, Republican or Donald Trump,” the website's authors wrote. Millions of people have clicked on the site.

According to popular job-hunting website "Indeed," search interest among Americans for jobs in Canada spiked as the election result become clear Tuesday night.

"In the hours just after Trump's victory was called, Americans were searching for jobs in Canada at ten times the rate of previous nights," Jed Kolko, an economist working for the website, was quoted as saying in a news release.

Whereas Canadians may not have been too serious about their offer to welcome frustrated Americans, the possibility of a Trump victory causing more interest in moving abroad was never a joke to many British observers.

In Britain, the dynamics of the current U.S. elections have frequently been compared to June's referendum over European Union membership. British voters disappointed with the result to leave the E.U. went online after the announcement of the results to search for ways to “emigrate to other countries.”

A post office in Northern Ireland's Belfast ran out of Irish citizenship applications days after the vote. There also has been an increase in applications by British residents for citizenship in other E.U. nations since then.

About five months later, some Americans appear to have similar feelings.

Watch: Scott Clement on what the polls missed (Video: Gillian Brockell/The Washington Post)