Firstly, here’s a primer for the uninitiated.
Canada (the Federal government) has entered into bilateral agreements with all the provinces to allow those provinces to nominate individuals to become Canadian permanent residents based on the nominee’s ability to contribute to the economic growth and development of that province.
Around the beginning of 2008, the province of Alberta began to actively recruit certain US visa holders (mostly IT professionals in the H1-B category), working temporarily in the US and offered them a path to Canadian permanent residency via a provincial nomination certificate. A good number of qualified individuals (probably in excess of 3,000) took Alberta up on its offer and submitted applications for a provincial nomination certificate. Now, many of those qualified applicants are being told that their nomination certificate will not be forthcoming. Instead, Alberta has informed them that their files have been closed due to changes in the global economic climate.