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Doug Ford no Tommy Douglas: Kiefer Sutherland


Actor Kiefer Sutherland has urged the Doug Ford government to stop invoking the name of his grandfather Tommy Douglas to defend its policies.

“I personally find your comparison of your policies to his offensive,” Sutherland posted in a tweet Monday. “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.”

In a May 31 op-ed piece, Children, Youth and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod wrote that Douglas believed it was wrong for governments to run up huge deficits and debt.

“It may seem odd that a Conservative minister from Ontario would speak so highly of the former socialist premier of Saskatchewan. And yes, we would differ on a lot of things,” MacLeod said. “But whatever our competing views on the role of government, Tommy Douglas recognized, as few have since, that a vision is meaningless without the means to make it a reality.”

MacLeod said she wondered what Douglas would say today about the opposition Ontario NDP who greet the slightest trace of fiscal discipline with “outrage.”

Ford retweeted a reference to that article, quoting MacLeod saying, “Think Tommy Douglas would approve.” His grandson clearly did not approve.

While Douglas was fiscally responsible – balancing the budget while providing paved roads, health care and electricity – he never did it at the expense of social and human services to those in need, Sutherland said.

“P.S. You’re lucky my mum`s not active on Twitter,” he tweeted, referring to activist and actress Shirley Douglas.

Ivana Yelich, a spokesman for Ford, did not address the comments directly but said that after 15 years of “waste and mismanagement” under the previous Liberal government, the province was on the brink of not being able to afford programs like universal health care and education.

“We’re proud of our decision to balance the budget in a responsible manner, while showing compassion and protecting what matters most to real Ontarians,” she said in an email. “The facts are simple. Despite what others have said, we’ve increased funding for health by $1.3 billion and education by $700 million.”

aartuso@postmedia.com

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