The CEO of Maple Leaf Foods took to his company’s Twitter account Sunday night to share his frustration and anger over the Iran plane crash tragedy in a series of tweets.
“I’m Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, and these are personal reflections,” reads his first tweet, which quickly gained traction via retweets and likes.
“I am very angry, and time isn’t making me less angry. A MLF (Maple Leaf Foods) colleague of mine lost his wife and family this week to a needless, irresponsible series of events in Iran…”
The series of events he is referring to began with a U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian top general Qassem Soleimani in on Jan. 3, leading to an escalation of tension between Iran and the U.S. early last week.
Days after Soleimani’s death, Iran targeted two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops with missiles. Hours later, on Jan. 8, an Iranian missile shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, killing all 176 on board — an incident that Iran has called unintentional.
“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 tweeted.
“..A narcissist in Washington tears world accomplishments apart; destabilizes region. US now unwelcomed everywhere in the area including Iraq; tensions escalated to feverish pitch. Taking out despicable military leader terrorist? There are a hundred like him, standing next in line,” read his next tweet, seemingly referring to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to call for an airstrike to kill Soleimani.
“…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)!” McCain’s final tweet reads.
The Canadian government has said that 57 Canadians lost their lives in the Iran plane crash. A total of 138 passengers on that airliner were bound for an onward connection to Canada.
“We are mourning and I am livid. Michael McCain,” reads the last line of his tweet.
In a statement to Global News, Maple Leaf Foods confirmed the CEO was behind the tweets.
“Yes, the tweets are indeed from Michael McCain,” said Janet Riley, vice-president of communications at Maple Leaf Foods.
He felt the tragedy “warranted his response,” she said, adding that he did not wish to comment further to the media.
“Rather than do an interview, Mr. McCain would prefer to let the messages in his tweets speak for themselves,” she said.
Riley also said the family referenced in the tweets “needs privacy at this time.”
Maple Leaf Foods is a major Canadian food company based in Mississauga, Ont., employing more than 11,000 in both Canada and the U.S. Originally from New Brunswick, McCain joined the company in 1995 and has held a range of roles since, according to his company bio.