A Newfoundland and Labrador MP has apologized to anti-sealing activist Pamela Anderson for making light of her incurable hepatitis C.
"Hey Pam, here's a thought. Take your million and donate it to...sexually transmitted disease prevention education," Gerry Byrne, Liberal MP for Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte, tweeted Tuesday, the day the blond bombshell visited his province to offer seal hunters $1 million to retire.
Anderson was at the St. John's headquarters of the Canadian Sealers Association with Sam Simon, one of the creators of the Simpsons.
In another tweet, Byrne called the B.C.-born Baywatch star a "hasbeen 'actor'" and Simon "a guy dying of cancer."
The tweets have since been deleted.
"I sincerely apologize and retract the statements I made on social media," Byrne wrote in a statement posted to his website Wednesday.
"I should have known better," he wrote. "I should have assisted in fostering the proper context of this illness and reaffirmed that those who suffer from this affliction should not be stigmatized."
Anderson has been open about contracting hepatitis C, which is transmitted by contact with infected blood, including through unprotected sex. There is currently no vaccine and no cure. Anderson said she contracted the disease from a tattoo needle.
Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau backed Byrne in comments made at an event in Vancouver Wednesday.
"Gerry is very, very passionate about the fisheries and about the seal hunt on the West Coast and he let his temper get away from him," Trudeau said. "He retracted and apologized for his unfortunate statements and, for me, that's good enough."