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

Cumberland council supports cannabis delivery changes

Letters to Village point to need for online order, direct delivery during pandemic

Comox Valley RCMP impound six vehicles in six days in May

All drivers were found to be going at least 47 km/h over the speed limit

Cumberland water plant costs come in higher than planned

Extra costs result of delays, Hydro requirements and right of way access

Boil water notice lifted in Union Bay

The notice has been lifted as of May 27.

Tsolum River Restoration Society members keeping busy during COVID-19 times

Young fish can get stranded in the most unlikely of places

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP told of alleged assault in Courtenay hours after the fact

Police only made aware of possible attack through social media posts

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Most Read