Over 55,000,000 Requests for Citizenship Since Tuesday Night
Canadian immigration officials have reported a huge increase in the number of requests for Canadian citizenship in the past twenty-four hours, with over fifty-five million such inquiries pouring in since late Tuesday night.
Of those fifty-five million requests, well over 99.99% of them came from U.S. citizens, the lion's share residing in such states as New York, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said that he was "flabbergasted" by the fifty-five-million-plus requests for Canadian citizenship, adding that it was difficult to pinpoint the precise reasons for the staggering increase.
"My only theory is that after many years of exposure in the U.S., hockey is finally starting to catch on," Mr. Pettigrew said.
He cautioned, however, that it is impossible to know exactly what is sparking the sudden interest in America's frozen neighbor to the north: "People answering our immigration hotline say that it is hard to understand many of the American callers because they are sobbing uncontrollably."
In other news, President Bush used his acceptance speech Wednesday to reach out to supporters of Sen. John Kerry, telling them, "You can run, but you can't hide."
Elsewhere, experts said that exit polls may have falsely predicted a Kerry victory because Kerry voters exited while Bush voters stayed behind and voted again.
But it does have some basis in truth: This from the Sydney Morning Herald via Reuters
The number of US citizens visiting Canada's main immigration website has shot up six-fold as Americans flirt with the idea of abandoning their homeland after President George Bush's election win this week.
"When we looked at the first day after the election, November 3, our website hit a new high, almost double the previous record high," immigration ministry spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi said today.
On an average day some 20,000 people in the United States log onto the website, http://www.cic.gc.ca - a figure which rocketed to 115,016 on Wednesday. The number of US visits settled down to 65,803 yesterday, still well above the norm.
Bush's victory sparked speculation that disconsolate Democrats, gay and lesbian couples and others might decide to start a new life in Canada, a country that tilts more to the left than the United States.
Would-be immigrants to Canada can apply to become permanent resident, a process that often takes a year. The other main way to move north on a long-term basis is to find a job, which requires a work permit.
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