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

Missing blood python named Nexxus returns home

‘He was just chillin’ like the villain he is,’ says owner after snake went on adventure in Chilliwack

Chilliwack FC hires Mark Lillicrap to oversee COVID return-to-play guidelines

Lillicrap will serve as CFC’s first-ever Health and Safety Officer

Huge month for Chilliwack real estate in July

Average selling price up 12 per cent with sales numbers not seen since boom of 2017

OPINION: Grade school students don’t have a voice during COVID pandemic

As adults weigh pros and cons of returning kids to school, is anyone asking kids what they think?

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

Arrival follows historic hihg-water levels that halted migration runs

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

COVID-19 exposure at Surrey rave prompts warning from Fraser Health

Party was held at Royal Beauty Supply in Whalley

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Most Read