Ottawa

Stop using my grandpa's name, actor Kiefer Sutherland tells Doug Ford

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.

'You're lucky my mum's not active on Twitter,' actor tweets

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:

Mr Ford,

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.

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 helped found the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, which became the New Democratic Party, is recognized as the father of universal health care in Canada.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.