Kiefer Sutherland says tweet to Doug Ford ‘was not about policy’

The actor had asked Ontario premier to stop using his grandfather Tom Douglas’ name

Toronto-raised actor-musician Kiefer Sutherland says it wasn’t his intention to stir the political pot with a recent tweet directed at Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

In early June the Golden Globe-winning “24” and “Designated Survivor” star put out a post on his verified Twitter account asking Ford to stop using his late grandfather Tommy Douglas’s name as part of his “political agenda.”

Sutherland was reacting to a tweet from Ford that linked to an op-ed by cabinet minister Lisa MacLeod, in which she compared the fiscal policies of the Conservative government to that of Douglas, who was Saskatchewan premier from 1944 to 1961.

“I’m not as familiar with social media as maybe I should be and I didn’t mean for it to become the thing it did,” Sutherland said Friday in a phone interview while on tour for his new album “Reckless & Me,” which will see him perform in several Canadian cities starting July 4 in Winnipeg.

“My comment was not about policy…. He has every right to have his policies and he’s elected because a majority of the people agreed with those policies. What I didn’t like and what I took objection to was that his policies do not reflect my grandfather’s political ideology, and his legacy is very important to me and to my family.”

Douglas was also known as the founder of medicare and the father of Sutherland’s mother, Canadian actress Shirley Douglas, who was once married to Donald Sutherland.

In his tweet, Ford wrote: ”It’s time to make government work for the people again — not the other way around. I think Tommy Douglas would approve.”

Sutherland’s tweet response, addressed to “Mr. Ford,” said he found the comparison of their policies “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.”

Speaking before a sound check for a concert in Pittsburgh, Sutherland said his family believes strongly in Douglas’s ideology and he wrote his tweet from their perspective.

“We strongly disagreed with his characterization of my grandfather’s political ideology and his policies. And that’s all I meant to do.”

Sutherland said he hasn’t heard from Ford since he put out the tweet, which he understands.

“I certainly don’t want to get into a thing with him,” Sutherland said. “I just wanted for the record to just say that I don’t agree with the statement that he made concerning my grandfather.

“Depending I guess on what political side of the aisle you would be on, some people appreciated the tweet and some people did not. And I didn’t really want to get into all of that either. I just wanted to clearly state that I disagreed with the statement he made concerning my grandfather and that was it.”

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Badinotti makes cash donations to North Island food banks

‘it’s fantastic that they are supporting community organizations like this’

‘A bottomless well of love for people and communities’

Parksville Qualicum Beach News editor JR Rardon dies at age 61

NDP pushing for 10 days of paid sick days for all working Canadians

NDP has made the issue a requirement for their support of the Liberal government

No plans to rebuild Hardy Bay Industrial Centre after fire, owner says

A massive fire burnt down the old building in April

Port Hardy Fire Rescue adapts to new realities amidst COVID-19

Don’t forget to follow Port Hardy Fire Rescue on Facebook.

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read