Ontario's social services minister says she's sorry if she made anyone feel threatened.
The apology comes after behaviour analysts said Lisa MacLeod warned them of consequences if they didn't support the province's new autism program.
MacLeod is resisting calls for her resignation, and her apology came on Thursday evening after the premier was peppered with questions about the remark.
MacLeod writes on Twitter that she apologizes if her comments made anyone feel threatened or uncomfortable.
It’s been an emotional time.— Lisa MacLeod (@MacLeodLisa) February 14, 2019
Throughout this process my focus has always been on the 23,000 children who were abandoned under the previous government’s plan. This is an issue I take very personally and I apologize if my comments made anyone feel threatened or uncomfortable.
The Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis (ONTABA) says MacLeod and her staff requested a quote of support a few days before the new program was announced.
They say they were told that failure to do so would result in "four long years" for the organization.
President-elect with ONTABA, Dr. Kendra Thomson told 1310 NEWS her group wants to work with the province but needs a meaningful consultation period.
"As a professional association that backs our responses in the science and research, we could not provide support for something we didn't know the details of and how it would impact children and their family."
The association, parents and advocates say the revamped autism program will leave many children without the level of therapy they need.
There is a rally planned outside her constituency office in Barrhaven on Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 a.m.
- with files from the Canadian Press