An Ontario cabinet minister is apologizing for saying most GO train riders likely don't have the qualifications to run a multi-billion-dollar corporation or nuclear operations.

Treasury Board President Liz Sandals had been defending high proposed and potential raises for public sector executives Thursday.

​The Liberal government has faced days of criticism over raises totalling up to $8 million for about 80 executives at Ontario Power Generation and a potential raise of up to $118,000 for the head of transit agency Metrolinx.

Sandals made the remarks when she was asked how she thinks the raises look to people sitting on a delayed GO train.

Today she says she intended to "explain the need to recruit and retain a small number of highly specialized professionals who hold unique qualifications and experience and the connection to the salary expectations of the public."

She says in doing so she used language that was "insensitive" and doesn't reflect her views.