The Current

Maple Leaf Foods CEO's tweets slamming U.S. for PS752 downing reflects 'fury' Canadians are feeling: minister

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino says the government "will not rest" until there is accountability for the families of Canadians killed in flight PS752.

'Imperative' that Canada and U.S. 'continue to cooperate,' minister says

A Toronto vigil to the 57 Canadians killed when Iran shot down flight PS752 last week. Tehran said the missile was fired in human error. (Rozenn Nicolle/Radio-Canada)

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Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino says a Canadian CEO's public criticism of the U.S. is tapping into "the fury" felt by Canadians following the shooting down of flight PS752 in Iran.

Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain sent the series of tweets days after a colleague lost his wife and son when the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile. Iran blamed human error for shooting down the plane, which coincided with a missile attack aimed at U.S. personnel in Iraq, in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

In the tweets, McCain blamed the U.S., saying that a "a narcissist in Washington" had destabilized the region.

Mendicino told The Current's Matt Galloway that McCain's statement "taps into and reflects the anger that is being felt by the families and by Canadians right across the country."

But he says Canada and the U.S. "are among the closest of allies in the world," and "it's imperative that we continue to cooperate."

He says the government is channelling the national anger into efforts "to provide justice and accountability for families, because they're entitled to it."

"And we will not stop, and we will not rest until we get it."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Iran must take full responsibility for shooting down the plane, which must include a full and credible investigation, but he's steered clear of pinning the crash on the Americans.

Efforts underway

Three Canadian investigators were granted visas and arrived in Iran over the weekend, but Mendocino says the government is expecting Iranian authorities to grant further visas to conduct "a timely, thorough and transparent investigation." 

Mendicino says hotlines have been set up for people seeking information, and there is a "whole-of-government approach" to ensuring families can repatriate their loved ones' remains.

He added that "the question of compensation has to be in the mix" for the victims' families.

"We are going to be ensuring that that question is answered, and Iran will have to take full responsibility," he said. 

"The message to the impacted families is that we are with you."

Written by Padraig Moran, with files from The Canadian Press. Produced by Ben Jamieson and Max Paris.


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