Kiefer Sutherland has a simple message for Ontario’s premier:
“You Sir, are no Tommy Douglas.”
The actor, who is the grandson of former Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas, wrote a frank response to Premier Doug Ford on Twitter Monday.
Last Sunday, Ford shared an op-ed written by one of his ministers that argued Douglas would approve of his government. Douglas wasn’t just grandfather to the guy from “24” — he’s also considered to be the grandfather of Canada’s universal health-care system. His socialist Saskatchewan government created the first publicly funded health-care system in North America in the 1960s.
“[Douglas] believed that it was wrong for governments to run up huge deficits and debt; that it wasn’t fair for people to fork money out of their jeans on the good-faith understanding that it was meant for schools, roads, hospitals and support for their less fortunate neighbours — only to see it wind up paying interest to big banks,” Ontario’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod wrote in the Financial Post on May 31.
Ford’s government has vowed to tackle Ontario’s multibillion-dollar deficit by cutting spending over the next four years.
“It may seem odd that a Conservative minister from Ontario would speak so highly of the former socialist premier of Saskatchewan,” MacLeod said.
“But ... Tommy Douglas recognized, as few have since, that a vision is meaningless without the means to make it a reality.”
Sutherland found the comparison to be more than just odd.
“I personally find your comparison of your policies to his offensive,” he wrote.
“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.”
A spokeswoman for Ford didn’t directly answer HuffPost Canada’s question about Sutherland, but said the government is proud of its plan for Ontario, specifically its decision to increase ministry budgets for education and health care.
“After 15 years of waste and mismanagement Ontario was in precarious fiscal position. In plain language: we were on the brink of not being able to afford things like universal healthcare and education,” Ford spokeswoman Ivana Yelich said in an email.
“Something had to change to protect what matters most.”
MacLeod’s spokesman did not respond to HuffPost’s question, but the minister tweeted that she no longer likes Sutherland’s show “Designated Survivor.”
It’s harder to be a politician than to play one on TV, she wrote.
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