Newly-minted health minister Gaétan Barrette says an online petition urging him to lose some weight is bullying.
"If I were a regular citizen yes that would be bullying," he said.
Meanwhile, the man who launched the petition on his blog, Pierre-Etienne Vachon, is withdrawing the petition because of the nasty comments, but still maintains he's been misunderstood.
"I find it deplorable that people are interpreting my initiative as a personal attack against Minister Barrette," Vachon wrote. "Maybe I was a little clumsy in my wording. I apologize to everyone who was offended by my proposal or my attitude."
Vachon had wanted Barrette to commit to losing weight, because he says he believes the health minister should be a role model, and present something resembling a picture of health.
Vachon had conceded, however, that he "probably has the necessary administrative skills to fulfil his mandate."