Canadians ready to welcome troubled Americans
At almost 9,000 km long, the Canadian-American border has become the fault line for Trump anxiety.
While Donald Trump has spoken about building a wall between the US and Mexico to keep immigrants out, it is Americans who may be trying to flee.
During this election’s vicious campaign cycle, the idea of Americans heading to Canada became a political statement.
Celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Bryan Cranston, and Lena Dunham have threatened to move north of the border to escape a Trump presidency. When that possibility edged closer to a reality late Tuesday night, the Canadian government’s Citizenship and Immigration website crashed due to what officials called “a significant increase in the volume of traffic.”
Statistics provided by the government indicated over 200,000 people were trying to access the site at 11 pm when it crashed. American IP addresses accounted for some 50% of the traffic, instead of the usual 9% to 10%.
Still, few of these contemplating fleeing have actually expanded on why they want to come to the country besides the fact Mr Trump will not be head of state and that they see the country as a friendly, progressive refuge.
And if shell-shocked Americans are seeking company to pair with their misery, Canada could be a haven. Mr Trump’s election victory has left many Canadians incredulous. “He has no political experience, he’s a business man, a reality-TV star and you blink and he’s the American president?” said a shocked Robert McNair, from Cambridge, Ontario about 150 km from Buffalo, New York.
Paul Deskin, an American tourist from Connecticut, couldn’t agree more.
“I just feel like my heart’s been ripped out, the country I love votes for someone with no integrity,” he said. “I hope I’m wrong, and I will fight to make our country a better country, and I truly hope that Trump finds the right way to lead.”
Both men were visiting Niagara Falls, Ontario, a border city and tourist hub that shares both the majestic falls and a border with New York State.