Michael McCain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Maple Leafs Foods Inc., speaks during the company’s annual general meeting in Toronto Thursday, April 28, 2011. The CEO of Maple Leaf Foods spoke out Sunday against the U.S. government, days after an Iranian missile accidentally shot down a jetliner, killing all 176 people on board, including the family of a company employee. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Maple Leaf Foods CEO takes aim at U.S. government over plane crash in Iran

176 people were killed when Iran shot down a Boeing plane

The CEO of Maple Leaf Foods spoke out Sunday against the U.S. government, days after an Iranian missile accidentally shot down a jetliner, killing all 176 people on board — including the family of a company employee.

Michael McCain said in a series of tweets that the time since Wednesday’s crash has not quelled his anger over what he describes as a “needless, irresponsible series of events in Iran.”

“U.S. government leaders unconstrained by checks/balances, concocted an ill-conceived plan to divert focus from political woes. The world knows Iran is a dangerous state, but the world found a path to contain it; not perfect but by most accounts it was the right direction,” he wrote, saying he feels that “a narcissist in Washington” destabilized the region.

The tweets were sent from the packaged meat company’s official account, though McCain characterized them as “personal reflections.”

The plane was mistakenly shot down minutes after taking off from an airport on the outskirts of Tehran.

Iran mistakenly downed the Ukrainian flight as Tehran braced for retaliation after firing ballistic missiles at two bases in Iraq housing U.S. forces. The ballistic missile attack, which caused no casualties, was a response to the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top general, in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

They were retaliating for the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a drastic step that triggered an instant backlash across the Middle East and put the U.S. and Iran on a war footing.

Iran has admitted the plane was mistaken for a hostile target amid those soaring tensions with the United States, after first pinning the crash on a mechanical failure.

U.S. President Donald Trump at one point said four American embassies were under possible threat when he approved Soleimani’s killing, but Defence Secretary Mark Esper explicitly said Sunday that he had seen no hard evidence of that.

The walk-back raises questions about the scale of the threat Trump described last week.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Iran must take full responsibility for shooting down the plane, which was carrying 138 passengers bound for Canada, including 57 Canadian citizens. He said that must include a full and credible investigation. But he’s refrained from blaming the crash on the Americans.

“I think it is too soon to be drawing conclusions or assigning blame or responsibility in whatever proportions,” he told reporters last week.

McCain, meanwhile, said he’s still grappling with the death of his colleague’s wife and 11-year-old son.

“We are mourning and I am livid,” he wrote.

READ MORE: Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown, videos show

READ MORE: Trudeau says meetings with families of Iran plane crash victims gut-wrenching

Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Want to volunteer during COVID-19? Here’s how to apply to the Queen Charlotte EOC

Young, healthy people can submit an online application to the Emergency Operations Centre

‘It was violating’: Skidegate fire department called to St. Patrick’s Day cemetery blaze

Queen Charlotte RCMP fire investigator says there was no evidence of arson

Masset RCMP seize ‘substantial’ amount of guns, cash in Friday the 13th drug bust

Officers executed search warrant on March 13 at ‘suspicious’ Old Massett Village residence

‘It makes people feel cared for’: Haida Gwaii food bank cooks up new freezer meal service

Containers needed for meals for vulnerable people, those in self-isolation amid COVID-19

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

B.C. man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Most Read