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

UPDATE: One woman taken away on stretcher after three-vehicle collision at Maclure and Clearbrook Road intersection

Abbotsford emergency crews are on scene but traffic is slow eastbound on Maclure

Mennonite Central Committee hosts 50th annual Festival for World Relief

All the funds raised are going towards helping vulnerable people across the world

Zumiez coming to Abbotsford’s Sevenoaks Shopping Centre

Action sports retailer opening soon in Abbotsford mall

Missing man last seen in Chilliwack Sept. 7

Friends concerned for well-being of 44-year-old Jean Pierre Baril

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Pedestrian struck and killed by vehicle in Surrey

Investigators were asking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Vancouver’s Tristan Connelly shocks the UFC world

Late replacement upsets big favourite Pereira, main event sees Gaethje stop Cerrone in round one

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Most Read