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Tory leader pushed to apologize after MP calls minister ‘climate Barbie’

Click to play video 'Minister urges Andrew Scheer to apologize for Conservative MP’s ‘climate barbie’ comments' Minister urges Andrew Scheer to apologize for Conservative MP’s ‘climate barbie’ comments
WATCH ABOVE: Minister urges Andrew Scheer to apologize for Conservative MP's 'climate barbie' comments

Liberals pressed Conservative leader Andrew Scheer for an apology during Question Period Wednesday, after a Tory MP referred to Environment Minister Catherine McKenna as “climate Barbie” on Twitter.

In a heated statement, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr demanded Scheer condemn Saskatchewan MP Gerry Ritz’s remarks.

“Mr. Speaker, it’s very disappointing that the leader of the Opposition will not denounce these statements, and not show that the leader of an entire caucus understands how inappropriate those comments were.”

READ MORE: Retiring Tory MP Gerry Ritz won’t run to lead Saskatchewan Party

Scheer responded following Carr’s remarks, but didn’t address the issue. He instead slammed the government on its controversial small business tax proposals.

Following Question Period, the Liberal Party continued to criticize Scheer on Twitter.

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While Scheer dodged demands for an apology in the House of Commons, he issued a statement shortly after.

“As a father of three daughters, I want to ensure that gender-based stereotypes have no place in Canada or Canadian politics,” he said.

“The demeaning words used by the Member ‎were inappropriate and he has rightly apologized.”

The Conservative leader added that he would contact McKenna to reiterate that “this type of behavior has no place in the Conservative caucus.”

Ritz’ initial comments came in response to an article Tuesday about countries falling short of their climate change commitments. He tweeted, “Has anyone told our climate Barbie!”

READ MORE: Scheer says Trudeau’s ‘arrogance is astounding’ on tax reform

Following a barrage of online criticism, Ritz apologized for the comment Tuesday night and deleted the initial tweet.

“I apologize for the use of Barbie, it is not reflective of the role the Minister plays,” he wrote.

McKenna was outspoken in her criticism of the remark, saying it is an indication more women are needed in politics.

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In response to Ritz, McKenna tweeted Tuesday, “Do you use that sexist language about your daughter, mother, sister?”

“Your sexist comments won’t stop us.”

The minister went on to thank those who supported her, saying that “some days it’s hard.”

Several other female politicians also called out Ritz, including Tory MP Michelle Rempel who said there was “no defence” for his comments.

Ritz, who is a long-running Conservative MP and a former cabinet minister, is set to relinquish his Commons seat at the end of this month as he retires.

— With files from The Canadian Press