The CEO of a Canadian company suffering from last week’s plane crash near Tehran has lashed out against the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis in relations between us and Iran.
Michael McCain, chief executive of Canadian food packaging concern Maple Leaf Foods (MLFNF), said one among his colleagues lost his wife and 11-year-old son after Iranian forces shot down the Ukrainian Airlines jet Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.
McCain said Sunday night during a series of tweets posted on his company’s verified Twitter account that he believes President Donald Trump’s actions within the Middle East were ultimately liable for their deaths, describing them as “the collateral damage” of an “ill-conceived decide to divert attention from political woes.”
The flight crashed shortly after beginning from Tehran’s airport. Iran has said that it mistakenly shot down the plane just a couple of hours after it fired missiles at Iraqi military bases housing US troops. The attacks on those bases came in retaliation for a US drone strike at Baghdad’s airport, which killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.
Fifty-seven Canadians were killed within the crash. The victims also included 82 Iranians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three British nationals.”I am very angry, and time isn’t making me less angry,” McCain wrote, calling the recent incidents in Iran “a needless, irresponsible series of events.”
“Canadians needlessly lost their lives within the crossfire, including the family of 1 of my MLF colleagues (his wife + 11-year old son)! ” he wrote. “We are mourning and that I am livid.”Despite having a modest presence on Twitter — the company’s account has just over 2,400 followers — the comments stoked immediate reaction online. Around 2 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, McCain’s initial tweet had been liked about 27,000 times and retweeted 8,500 times. His additional tweets also received thousands of likes, retweets, and replies.
Some social media users responded with words of support, including one that said McCain’s response “shows what proportion [of] an impact” the event has on Canadians “from all walks of life.”Others, though, responded with calls to boycott the corporation.
“Fantastic exercise in branding,” one user wrote. “Currently looking up all products produced by MLF and not getting to purchase one from now on. it’s one thing to precise your personal beliefs on your own page but to try to so use your companies [sic] Twitter page with logo is corporate suicide!”
Maple Leaf Foods didn’t immediately answer an invitation for comment outside regular business hours. The company is predicated in Mississauga, Ontario and employs about 12,500 people, consistent with its website. It produces meat and deli products and is listed on the Toronto stock market.