MP apologizes for calling Americans 'bastards'

A Liberal MP has apologized for saying "Damn Americans ... I hate those bastards."

A Liberal MP has apologized for saying about Americans: "I hate those bastards."

MP Carolyn Parrish was speaking to reporters about Canada's diplomatic initiative on Iraq. At the end of her comments, after most of the cameras were turned off, Parrish said, "Damn Americans ... I hate those bastards."

CBC reporter Susan Lunn, who heard Parrish make the comment, said the MP then laughed as she was walking away.

In a written statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Parrish says she made the comments in the heat of the moment in a private conversation. She said they do not reflect her opinion of the American people.

"My comments do not reflect my personal opinion of the American people and they certainly do not reflect the views of the government of Canada," she said in her written statement.

Late last year, the prime minister's communications director, Franoise Ducros, resigned after calling U.S. President George W. Bush "a moron" during a conversation with a reporter in Prague.

Canadian Alliance Leader Stephen Harper said Parrish's comments won't make relations between the two countries any better.

"They don't do Canadians any good Canadians who are trying to cross the border for business, Canadians who are trying to sell lumber or agricultural products or manufactured goods to the United States," said Harper.

Deputy Prime Minister John Manley said MPs should know better.

"I've tried to encourage members of the House and Senate to recognize they are public figures and they should exercise a certain amount of discretion in what they say," he said.

The Prime Minister's Office said that Parrish does not speak for the government of Canada.