Canada’s sunny, inclusive, feminist Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated US President-elect Donald Trump on his victory this morning.
"Canada has no closer friend, partner, and ally than the United States," Trudeau said in a statement. "We look forward to working very closely with President-elect Trump, his administration, and with the United States Congress in the years ahead, including on issues such as trade, investment, and international peace and security."
On Twitter, Trudeau was even more effusive, though most of his comments emphasized how important America is to Canada rather than praising Trump specifically.
I congratulate President-elect @realDonaldTrump on his election victory – please read my full statement: https://t.co/Kv7fK6B5BA— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 9, 2016
Our shared values are strong. Our common purpose is to build countries where everyone has a fair chance to succeed. (...)— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 9, 2016
The two leaders couldn’t be more different, but the countries they lead have a lot in common. They are each other’s largest trading partners. A shaky Canada-US relations would be devastating for the Canadian economy, and, for that reason, Trudeau has avoided saying anything negative about Trump during the campaign, repeatedly emphasizing that he’d work with whomever made it to the White House.
But there have been some not-so-veiled criticisms. According to the CBC, Trudeau’s Liberal Party sent out a fundraising email before the first presidential debate pitting Canadian values against the Republican’s.
"Hope or fear? Diversity or division? Openness and inclusion, or turning our backs on the world?" the email read, making it clear which party Trudeau’s Liberals most aligned with.
Still, following Trump’s upset, Trudeau had more positive remarks: "The relationship between our two countries serves as a model for the world. Our shared values, deep cultural ties, and strong integrated economies will continue to provide the basis for advancing our strong and prosperous partnership."
Where Trudeau sought immediate relationship building, other Canadian leadership hopefuls saw the potential for something like a Trump movement in Canada’s future.
Following Trump’s win, Canadian Conservative leadership contender Kellie Leitch sent out Facebook messages and emails to her followers last night, saying, "Our American cousins threw out the elites." Trump’s presidential victory sent an "exciting message that needs to be delivered in Canada as well."
Her campaign has also had anti-immigrant overtones, promising to screen newcomers for "Canadian values," whatever that means. On Trump’s win, she took the opportunity to align herself with the populist American. "It's why I'm the only candidate who will ensure that every visitor, immigrant and refugee will be screened for Canadian values."
As recently as one day ago, Canada’s polls suggested a majority of Canadians aligned themselves with Clinton.
Among Canadian women, Clinton had the support of three-quarters of those polled while 15 percent said they’d support Trump. Among Canadian men, 58 percent said they’d vote for Clinton, while 20 percent aligned with Trump.
The Canadian immigration website crashed last night
Some Americans have been threatening to take solace in Canada following a Trump win. Overnight, as a Donald Trump presidency looked clearer, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website crashed.
Observers noted that this was likely because people were searching for information about how to flee to Canada — an oft-cited threat from progressives who said they’d leave if Trump won on November 8.
But as Vox’s Dara Lind explains, moving to Canada isn’t as easy as you might think — unless you have a job lined up or in-demand skills. "Canada encourages highly educated, technically skilled people to settle in the country, while also carving out a place for humanitarian refugees," Lind writes. "This is a pretty big difference from the American immigration system, whose first priority is family reunification."
This isn’t the first time US political news brought the Canadian immigration site down. The site also crashed the morning after Super Tuesday.