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

Maple Ridge’s Brandon Yip to play in KHL all star game in Moscow Sunday morning

Yip currently captains the Kunlun Red Stars who are based in Beijing

The value of a prison education

Kevin Heinze teaches continuing education at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre in Maple Ridge.

Along the Fraser: RIP Parker (1991-2019)

The Canadian Liver Foundation raises funds by recycling or scrapping old vehicles.

Letter: Allen Way rail crossing proposed in 1980

Pitt Meadows mayor at time wanted it at north Bonson.

Maple Ridge group gives back to northern places

Teaching how to grow in isolated First Nations reserves

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Most Read