Alliance candidate resigns over 'Asian invasion' remarks

The Canadian Alliance has one less candidate this morning after Betty Granger dropped out of the race following an uproar over some comments she made about immigration.

Granger came under fire for comments she made while speaking to a crowd of university students. Among her comments was a reference to an "Asian invasion."

Granger had been fending off criticism since making the remarks, which she insisted were misunderstood.

"After much reflection and painful soul searching, I hereby tender my resignation," she said in a statement released to the media on Sunday night.

"While I have apologized for my misinterpreted comments made at the University of Winnipeg, I feel that the party would be better served if I stepped down at this time."

With only a week to go before the election, officials said it was too late to remove her name from the ballot.

'Asians pressure the university system'

The controversy began Thursday when Granger spoke to a group of political science students about immigration policy.

She argued that Asian students in B.C. have put so much pressure on post-secondary education that some Canadians can't enter university.

"I call it the Asian invasion," Granger said. "The Asian students that have come over to Canada have pressured the university system."

"Our own Canadian students actually could not even get into some of our university programs in Vancouver and Victoria."

She also said that land prices on the West Coast have soared because of "a well-monied population buying up blocks and blocks of real estate."

The Liberals called Granger's comments astounding and inappropriate.

Before she quit, Alliance Leader Stockwell Day said Granger had apologized for any misunderstanding, and he insisted that the matter was closed.

In a news release Sunday night, Day said he had accepted Granger's resignation "with regret."

Granger was running in Winnipeg South Centre for the seat vacated by former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy.