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

Just Posted

Rental, condo supply grows in Maple Ridge

More projects planned for downtown

Man charged in 2018 hit-and-run in Maple Ridge

Michael Howard Thomas was charged on July 19 in provincial court

Feds chip in $702k to kickstart new daycare program

Will provide 462 new spaces in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Vancouver Public Library banned from Pride parade after allowing controversial speaker

Vancouver Public Library allowed Meghan Murphy to book space for an event at the library in January

Most Read