Business

Maple Leaf Foods CEO takes aim at U.S. government over downing of PS752 by Iran

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

Michael McCain says he's 'very angry' in Twitter thread mourning loss of colleague's family

Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain, pictured here in 2011, posted a series of tweets from the company's official Twitter account lamenting the loss of a colleague's family in the downing of Flight PS752. (The Canadian Press)

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

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Michael McCain said the time since Wednesday's crash has not quelled his anger over what he describes as a "needless, irresponsible series of events in Iran." The tweets were sent from the official Maple Leaf Foods account, though McCain characterized them as "personal reflections."

Fifty-seven Canadians were among the 176 people killed on Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752. There have been vigils and memorials across Canada commemorating the victims, as well as protests calling for de-escalation in the region.

McCain said he feels that "a narcissist in Washington" destabilized the region, ultimately leading to the crash.

Flight PS752 was mistakenly shot down minutes after taking off from an airport on the outskirts of Tehran, just hours after Iranian missiles targeted bases where Americans were stationed in Iraq.

They were retaliating for the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

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.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Iran must take full responsibility for shooting down the plane. He said that must include a full and credible investigation, but he's steered clear of pinning 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 said he's both livid and mourning for his colleague's wife and 11-year-old son, who were killed on the plane.

CBC News reached out to McCain for further comment. In response, Janet Riley, the company's vice-president of communications and public affairs, said in an email that McCain "would prefer to let the messages in his tweets speak for themselves. He felt the tragedy warranted his response."

With files from CBC News

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