Calgary

Immigration program benefits Alberta, minister says

A federal cabinet minister says Alberta will continue to be a key beneficiary of a federal program that allows provinces to tailor immigration to fit local labour needs.

A federal cabinet minister says Alberta will continue to be a key beneficiary of a federal program that allows provinces to tailor immigration to fit local labour needs.

Minister of State Tim Uppal says Alberta accounted for 24 per cent of the workers brought in under the provincial nominee program in 2011.

Ottawa has boosted the number under the program in 2012 to 42,000, but Uppal says the per cent per province for next year still hasn't been worked out.

The program, which allows provincial governments to nominate workers required in key sectors, is the second largest source of economic immigration to Canada.

Alberta has been struggling to fill vacancies in a number of areas, especially in the oil and gas sector.

Ben Brunnen of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce estimates that the province will be short 77,000 workers by 2019.

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