Gerry Ritz made the comment on Twitter during an online exchange over a climate-change report.
The tweet provoked a furious response from Liberal MPs and others, and was later deleted.
Mr Ritz apologised, saying his comments were "not reflective of the role the minister plays".
You may also like:
He had taken to Twitter following a report about targets set out in the Paris climate-change accord not being met by major industrialised nations.
In a reply to other Twitter users, he had written: "Has anyone told our climate Barbie!"
Mrs McKenna fired back: "Do you use that sexist language about your daughter, mother, sister?"
"We need more women in politics. Your sexist comments won't stop us," she added.
In parliament, House leader Bardish Chagger said there was "no room for that kind of ignorance in Canadian politics".
"Sexism is unacceptable," echoed Heritage Minister Melanie Joly.
Mr Ritz, who represents a constituency in the province of Saskatchewan, recently announced he was leaving politics after two decades.