Maple Leaf Foods CEO takes aim at Trump over Iran plane crash
Maple Leaf Foods CEO, Michael McCain, took to Twitter Sunday night to share "personal reflections" about last week's fatal plane crash in Tehran, which claimed the lives of 57 Canadians and 81 other passengers.
McCain expressed anger and sadness in the Twitter thread, and shared that a Maple Leaf Foods colleague had lost their wife and family in the "irresponsible series of events in Iran."
I’m Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, and these are personal reflections. 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...— Maple Leaf Foods (@MapleLeafFoods) January 13, 2020
The tweets were sent from the packaged meat company's official account.
"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," McCain wrote.
He went on to say that "a narcissist in Washington" had destabilized the region, resulting in heightened tensions. McCain notes the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Iran's top general, calling it irresponsible behaviour, and connects the killing to the cause of the downed plane.
"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," McCain said in the final tweet of the thread.
…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
Last week Iran admitted to mistakenly shooting down the Ukrainian flight as Tehran braced for retaliation after firing surface-to-air missiles at two U.S bases in Iraq. The ballistic missile attack was a response to the killing of Soleimani.
Iran has said the Ukrainian Airlines plane was mistaken for a hostile target amid tensions with the U.S. The crash was at first blamed on a mechanical malfunction.
The Twitter thread has been widely shared and has warranted thousands of responses from across the world.
Well, this is refreshing! The Iranian plane crash is a global tragedy that requir es a long pause and collective, meditative mourning. All of the business-as-usual timelines, pushing the same old BS and inane distraction have been disgusting—I’m looking at you, Harry and Meghan. https://t.co/jea2M5LWvh— Dr. Sonia Kang (@Sonia_Kang) January 13, 2020
Many Canadians have praised McCain for his statement, calling it "refreshing" and "rare."
I am absolutely stunned Michael McCain, the CEO of Maple Leaf foods spoke out about the plane being shot down. I have so much respect for him from this. https://t.co/1mT0B0kYKx— Bruce 🇨🇦 (@Brucesask) January 13, 2020
The statement comes after a many vigils were held over the weekend across the country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Edmonton on Sunday at a memorial for the victims of the plane crash.
Thank you. Thank you for having the courage to call this out. You’ve nailed it exactly. It’s so sickening and wrong, and people are suffering because of this sick, pathetic, and dangerous fiend. This time he’s gone too far. Dragging the rest of us down with him.— Kamala Jasmine Todd (@KamJasTodd) January 13, 2020
While the thread has been met with support, there undoubtedly is some blacklash over what McCain said.
Many Americans have responded to the post, some sending condolences and praise, while others are in disagreement with the post.
You are deflecting blame from those who are really responsible: Iranian shooter, Iranian govt, airport and Ukrainian airline. As a CEO you should be able to pinpoint real culprits instead of picking an easier target, because of personal animus. #BlameIran not my president.— Linda VOZ (@avoiceforothers) January 13, 2020
Some Canadians are upset with the post too. One Twitter user responded with frustration over McCain's lack of recognition of Iran's history.
2/ You would rather have the criminal leaders of Iran go about their heinous crimes in the shadows like they always have. This is not a result of "increased tensions", it is the same old brutality Iranian people have come used to for decades, causing so many to flee to Canada.— Armin Habibi (@HabibiArmin) January 13, 2020
McCain ended his thread by saying "We are mourning and I am livid."
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