Kiefer Sutherland, left, says he’s offended by the Ontario Progressive Conservatives comparing their policies to those of former Saskatchewan NDP premier Tommy Douglas. (CBC/The Canadian Press)
Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland, the grandson of renowned former Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas, is asking Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Ottawa MPP Lisa MacLeod to stop using his grandfather’s name for their own political ends.
MacLeod invoked the premier’s memory in a May 31 Financial Post editorial, arguing that Douglas would have approved of Ontario Progressive Conservatives’ moves toward fiscal discipline.
Ford quoted from the editorial in a post on Twitter on June 2, and Sutherland responded to both Ford and MacLeod on Monday.
Sutherland’s tweet reads:
Your tweet has recently come to my attention and I can only tell you that you are correct, my grandfather Tommy Douglas was fiscally responsible. In addition to balancing the budget of Saskatchewan, he also provided the province with paved roads, healthcare and electricity. He did it all within four years. Contrary to your argument, it was never at the expense of social and human services to those in need. I personally find your comparison of your policies to his offensive. So I can only ask, as the grandson of this man, for you to stop posting his picture and using his name as part of your political agenda. After all, I knew Tommy Douglas and you Sir, are no Tommy Douglas.
P.S. You’re lucky my mum’s not active on Twitter.
Sincerely, Kiefer Sutherland.
Sutherland’s mother is Tommy Douglas’s daughter, Shirley Douglas, also an actor.
MacLeod fired back on Twitter later Monday, posting a picture of a 2017 bus shelter advertisement for Designated Survivor, which stars Sutherland, and saying she “used to like” the TV show.
“Alas, it’s more difficult to be a politician than pretend to be one on TV,” she added.
I used to like this show- which overtook a very expensive bus shelter ad in fall of 2017 outside Queen’s Park.
Alas, it’s more difficult to be a politician than pretend to be one on TV. pic.twitter.com/o2quQyYl94
In a statement to CBC, the premier’s press secretary Ivana Yelich said the PCs are proud of their financial record.
“After 15 years of waste and mismanagement, Ontario was in precarious fiscal position,” she said. “We’re proud of our decision to balance the budget in a responsible manner, while showing compassion and protecting what matters most to real Ontarians.”
Douglas, who also founded the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, which became the New Democratic Party, is recognized as the father of universal health care in Canada.