Many people threatened to move to Canada, based on the outcome of this election. Apparently, a lot of people weren’t bluffing. The Canadian immigration site crashed repeatedly Tuesday as states closed their polls and results began to come in.
It may not come as a surprise that Google recorded a spike in the search topic immigration to Canada Tuesday night. Countless jokes about people fleeing the country over the election results have circulated on social media, and a local booster in Nova Scotia tried to lure critics of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. There’s even a dating site dedicated to hooking up Americans with their northern neighbors (HT NBC News).
It’s called Maple Match and it’s the brainchild of a 25-year-old Texan named Joe Goldman whose site promises to “make dating great again.”
“Maple Match makes it easy for Americans to find the ideal Canadian partner to save them from the unfathomable horror of a Trump presidency,” the site declares.
Goldman told NBC News earlier this year he was inspired by repeated threats from friends in Austin to move north of the border if the likely Republican nominee defies odds and wins the presidential election, which seems increasingly likely.
“I have always been fascinated by Canada,” Goldman said. “So I thought to myself, ‘Given the current political situation, this could bring Canadians and Americans closer together.'”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is one of several world leaders who have criticized Trump in the past. One of the biggest differences between Trump and Trudeau are their views on the refugee crisis in Syria. Trudeau said last year that, “(Muslims) are the greatest victims of terrorist acts around the world. Painting ISIS and others with a broad brush that extends to all Muslims is not just ignorant, it’s irresponsible.”
Trudeau plans to allow 25,000 refugees to resettle in the nation by February, with up to another 25,000 by the end of 2016, giving priority to women, children, families and persecuted groups such as lesbians and gays.
Canada’s policy stands in sharp contrast to the United States, where Trump has called for a ban on letting Muslims into the country and 30 governors have vowed to bar Syrian refugees from resettling in their states over fears that Islamic extremists may be hiding among them. Millions of Syrians have fled their country’s nearly 5-year-old civil war that helped spawn the Islamic State, also known ISIL or ISIS.
“The U.S. is concerned about extremists … Therefore (it) processes in a much more careful manner,” said Kyle Matthews, a fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute who has worked with the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees. “In Canada’s case, this is a political promise in an election.
Canada’s system for choosing who is eligible to move to Canada is also much more streamlined than the United States. Would-be Canadian immigrants much have a solid reason for wanting to come to their northern neighbor. That together with the skills they bring gives them points on which they are judged. These can include:
•A skill that can be used in Canadian businesses
•A job in Canada
•Relatives or friends who have nominated you for permanent residency
•A position as an entrepreneur with a high net worth
As Americans came to the site in waves Tuesday night to see what their chances for immigrating were, the Twitterverse quickly noted that it had crashed.