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

Surrey bylaw’s tactics with Uber drivers deemed ‘entrapment’ and ‘completely wrong’

That’s what Councillors Brenda Locke and Linda Annis had to say Monday about city staff hailing Uber drivers then issuing them warnings

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

COLUMN: Ontario ride-hailing experience has implications for Surrey

Ride-hailing is now operating in B.C., in a lightning-quick response to the… Continue reading

‘Our Surrey Vision’ report to be made public Thursday

Community-engagement project launched by Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association last year

Indecent act reported in North Delta

Police received a report of a man touching himself in the park next to the Mackie library on Jan. 23

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sex assaults linked, RCMP ask women not to walk alone in Coquitlam park

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

‘Big money’ funding B.C. politics now mostly from taxpayers

Campaign targets $16 million and counting in ‘politician welfare’

Most Read