Alberta freezes two immigration programs because of sluggish economy

The Alberta government is blaming the sluggish economy for its decision to freeze two immigration programs.

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is blaming the sluggish economy for its decision to freeze two immigration programs.

The programs include Family Stream, which focused on immigrants with relatives in Alberta, and the other involves workers holding U.S. visas.

The freeze on applications for the programs goes into effect on Tuesday.

Thomas Lukaszuk, minister of employment and immigration, says it makes sense to focus on the needs of Albertans and other Canadians to find jobs.

He says Alberta will continue to accept immigration applications from people with needed skills, including tradesmen and engineers.

The Family Stream and U.S. Visa Holder categories were set up in 2008 when the economy was booming.