Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland, grandson of renowned former Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas, is urging Premier Doug Ford and Ottawa MPP Lisa MacLeod to stop using their grandfather's name for their own political ends.
MacLeod invoked the premier's memory in a May 31 editorial in the Financial Post, arguing that Douglas would have approved Ontario Progressive Conservatives' moves toward fiscal discipline.
Ford quoted from the editorial in a post on Twitter on June 2, and Sutherland responded to Ford and MacLeod on Monday.
Sutherland's tweet says:
Your tweet recently came to my attention and I can only say that you are correct, my grandfather Tommy Douglas was fiscally responsible. In addition to balancing Saskatchewan's budget, it also provided the province with paved roads, health services and electricity. He did it all in four years. Contrary to his argument, it has never been at the expense of social and human services for those who needed it. I personally find his comparison of his policies to his offense. So I can only ask, as a grandson of this man, that you stop posting your picture and use his name as part of your political agenda. After all, I knew Tommy Douglas and you, sir, are not Tommy Douglas.
Q. You are lucky that my mother is not active on Twitter.
Yours sincerely, Kiefer Sutherland.
Sutherland's mother is the daughter of Tommy Douglas, Shirley Douglas, also an actor.
MacLeod fired back on Twitter later on Monday, posting a photo of an ad from the 2017 bus shelter to Designated Survivor, who starred Sutherland, and saying she "liked" the TV show.
"Unfortunately, it's harder to be a politician than pretending to be one on TV," he added.
I used to like this show – which in the year 2017 went through a very expensive bus shelter just outside Queen's Park.
Unfortunately, it's harder to be a politician than pretending to be one on TV. pic.twitter.com/o2quQyYl94
In a statement to the CBC, Prime Minister Ivana Yelich's press secretary said the PCs are proud of their financial history.
"After 15 years of waste and mismanagement, Ontario was in a precarious fiscal position," she said. "We are proud of our decision to balance the budget responsibly, show compassion and protect what matters most to real Ontarians."
Douglas, who also founded the precursor of the New Democratic Party, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, is recognized as the father of universal medical care in Canada.