As the recession ripples through Canadian society, the government is examining whether or not to stabilize, reduce or increase immigration. The 1990s was the only prior experience in Canada when the immigration issue arose during a period of economic instability. In 993, unemployment rose to 11.4% even as immigration hit 256,00 people arriving. As experts review the 1990s experience they are concluding immigration, overall, had a positive impact on dealing with the recession. It appears 1990s immigrants were fairly well educated and they plunged into work by establishing new business enterprises and purchasing homes. A large number of the immigrants were from India or China or Hong Kong and they arrived with strong desires for home ownership which assisted the recovering of the housing market.
Undoubtedly, a major issue is whether immigrants will stimulate production as has been the case in the Silicon Valley in California where they have created thousands of new jobs. On the other hand, many immigrants work in occupations that native born people, despite being unemployed, do not wish to enter such as fruit picking or construction.