MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, took to the company’s Twitter page to express his outrage over the downing of a passenger jet carrying 176 people, including 57 Canadians.
He said a colleague, who he did not identify, lost his wife and 11-year-old son as they traveled on Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752. The Iranian government said the plane was accidentally shot down Jan. 8 by a surface-to-air missile shortly after takeoff from Tehran, Iran, enroute to Kiev, Ukraine.
In a series of posts on the Maple Leaf Foods official Twitter page, McCain expressed anger over the deaths of the passengers and his colleague’s loss.
“I’m Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, and these are personal reflections,” one tweet read. “I am very angry, and time isn’t making me less angry. A MLF colleague of mine lost his wife and family this week to a needless, irresponsible series of events in Iran...”
McCain said the incident occurred because, “…U.S. government leaders unconstrained by checks/balances, concocted an ill-conceived plan to divert focus from political woes.”
Janet Riley, vice president of communications and public affairs at Maple Leaf Foods, said the company had no comment because McCain “…wanted to let the messages in the tweets stand on their own.”
The Iranian government cited “human error” for the incident, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offered condolences and said, “the terrible catastrophe should be thoroughly investigated, and those responsible for this unforgivable mistake will definitely be identified and prosecuted.”
In a briefing of a conversation between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Rouhani, Trudeau said, “Canadians were angry, hurt and grieving,” and added that “it was imperative that there be justice, accountability, and compensation for the families of the victims.”
…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…— Maple Leaf Foods (@MapleLeafFoods) January 13, 2020
…The collateral damage of this irresponsible, dangerous, ill-conceived behavior? 63 Canadians needlessly lost their lives in the crossfire, including the family of one of my MLF colleagues (his wife + 11 year old son)! We are mourning and I am livid. Michael McCain.— Maple Leaf Foods (@MapleLeafFoods) January 13, 2020