tommydouglas-billboard_thumb
tommydouglas-billboard_thumb This article is more than 3 years old
News

Saskatchewan Party ‘Deeply Regrets’ Defacing Billboard Honouring Tommy Douglas on Instagram

Saskatchewan’s governing party tells PressProgress they did not mean to ‘denigrate’ the father of Canadian medicare

Saskatchewan’s governing party is apologizing after using its official Instagram account to deface a sign honouring Tommy Douglas, the former CCF Premier of Saskatchewan who is widely recognized as “the Greatest Canadian.”

An Instagram “story” that appeared on the party’s official account last week featured a digitally altered image of a billboard honouring the father of Canadian medicare outside his hometown of Weyburn, Saskatchewan.

Premier Brad Wall’s political party drew a bright red ‘X’ over Douglas’ face, crossed out both his name and “Greatest Canadian” title and replaced it with the name of current Sask. Party Environment Minister Dustin Duncan, MLA for the provincial riding of Weyburn-Big Muddy.

Instagram stories are designed to disappear from users’ newsfeeds after 24 hours – but not before this screenshot was taken:

Instagram

In a statement to PressProgress, Sask. Party Executive Director Patrick Bundrock said the party “deeply regrets the post,” explaining the party meant to “promote the local MLA, Dustin Duncan” and did not intend to “denigrate Premier Tommy Douglas in any way.”

The statement adds that “the Saskatchewan Party respects Mr. Douglas”:

“The Instagram post was posted by a staff person and done so as a way to promote the local MLA, Dustin Duncan. The Instagram story post has now expired. It was not intended to denigrate Premier Tommy Douglas in any way. The Saskatchewan Party respects Mr. Douglas and deeply regrets the post. The Saskatchewan Party will not be doing similar ones like it in the future.”

As Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961, Douglas oversaw a series of sweeping reforms including the creation of public auto insurance, the modernization of public infrastructure and the passage of the province’s first bill of rights.

His efforts led to the creation of North America’s first ever system of public health insurance, a model eventually adopted at the national level.

In November 2004, a CBC special named Tommy Douglas “the Greatest Canadian.”

Duncan, by contrast, led a push to privatize parts of Saskatchewan’s healthcare system when he served as the province’s health minister.

 

Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.

 

Support Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-06-016 Video

Catholic Sisterhood Calls For Mike Harris’ Removal From Board of For-Profit Long-Term Care Company

Related Stories

news

Jason Kenney Wants the Calgary Stampede To Go Ahead Next Month. The Canadian Forces Are Not Sure It’s Safe.

View the post
News

‘Not Up to Snuff’: Saskatchewan’s Approach to Online Learning Among Worst in Canada, Education Experts Say

View the post
News

Hotel Workers Are Fighting For Their Right to Be Recalled to Work After The Pandemic Ends. They Could Lose Their Jobs For Good.

View the post

Explainers

Politics & strategy

Tom Parkin

Why Jason Kenney is Playing Politics with the Horrific Legacy of Canada’s Residential Schools

View the post
Work & rights

Liz Walker and Shanice Regis-Wilkins

Here is What Everyone in Canada Needs To Know About How Collective Bargaining Really Works

View the post
Human rights & inclusion

Amira Elghawaby

Canadians Are Talking About ‘Defunding the Police’. Here’s What That Means and What It Could Look Like.

View the post