OTTAWA – During her first appearance at a House of Commons committee since being named commissioner of the RCMP, Brenda Lucki faced questions on harassment in the national police force, staffing levels, and marijuana legalization, but a male Quebec Liberal MP wanted to know how "a lady" would "tell the guys how to behave."

Lucki -- who joined the RCMP in 1986 -- is the first permanent female commissioner.

During the first round of questions at the House Public Safety and National Security Committee, Liberal MP Michel Picard asked Lucki: "It's a traditional institution… It's a tough environment. I will include in the harassment, the bullying, questionable behavior, so I would like to hear you about, allow me to say… how will a lady will tell the guys how to behave?"

Her response was swift: "We do it all the time. It’s part of our makeup. Ask my husband."

Lucki was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and took helm of the RCMP on April 16.

She had been the commanding officer of the RCMP depot division in Saskatchewan since October 2016. The depot division is responsible for training new cadets.

During a joint press conference with Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale following the committee appearance, Lucki was asked about being called "a lady" by a Member of Parliament.

"When people refer to me as the first female commissioner it just tells me that we still have work to do… The fact that we have to identify me by my gender means that we still have some work to do, but I’m okay with it. I’m ready for the work, and I think gender aside I was chosen for what I bring to the table, and I’m ready to make the change in the RCMP," Lucki said. "I’ve been called worse."

Picard apologized in a tweet, saying his question was not how he intended to phrase it.

"All women in the RCMP should command respect especially the new Commissioner," he said.