In the first week of June, Ontario Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod penned an op-ed in the Financial Post about how similar the PC government is to that of Tommy Douglas, former premier of Saskatchewan credited with introducing universal health care.

Doug Ford took to Twitter to link MacLeod’s article and add a quote from it saying that Douglas would have “approved” of the current PC government. While many Canadians disagreed in the replies, the most significant retaliation came from actor Kiefer Sutherland, Douglas’ grandson. He listed some of his grandfather’s significant achievements as premier.

“In addition to balancing the budget of Saskatchewan, he also provided the province with paved roads, healthcare and electricity. Contrary to your argument, it was never at the expense of social and human services to those in need,” his reply read.

Sutherland also said in the note that Ford’s comparison of the PC administration’s policies to his grandfather’s was “offensive,” and asked Ford to stop using Douglas’ name and picture as part of the Conservative agenda.

“After all, I knew Tommy Douglas and you Sir, are no Tommy Douglas,” Sutherland concluded.

Douglas, who served as Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961 and Leader of the New Democratic Party from 1961 to 1971, was best known for establishing universal healthcare, passing the Saskatchewan Bill of Rights, balancing the budget and allowing unionization of the public service.

In response to the criticism, MacLeod posted a photo of an ad for Designated Survivor, the show Sutherland stars in, saying that she “used to like” it.

Unlike Douglas, who expanded public services, Ford has viciously cut things Ontarians depend on, including a cut of $2.1 billion over four years for new mental health funding to $1.9 billion over 10 years, a cancellation of a $100-million budget for school repairs, a reduction of legal aid by 30 per cent and a $1 billion cut from social services across the board.


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