An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
WHAT’S WRONG with billionaire business people weighing in on important political matters?
Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain is in hot water for taking to Twitter to blast Donald Trump over the missile downing of a Ukrainian airliner carrying dozens of Canadians.
McCain tweeted his anger over the loss of a family of a Maple Leaf Foods employee in the tragedy. He called the assassination of an Iranian general “an ill-conceived plan to divert focus from political woes.”
While not naming Trump, he referred to “a narcissist in Washington” whose administration is “unconstrainted by checks/ balances.”
“We are in mourning and I am livid,” he wrote.
Reaction to McCain’s tweets has been swift, mostly condemning him, with many vowing to boycott his company.
But as one commentator said, McCain was simply saying what so many of us have been thinking. The only thing stopping major corporate spokesmen from getting involved in political issues is the fear of negative impacts on their product sales.
More of them should follow McCain’s example. Corporate leaders have as much right to express themselves on world events as anyone else. Movie stars do it all the time — just wait for all the political messages from the winners when the Academy Awards come up this year.
Maybe we agree with McCain’s contention that Donald Trump is to blame for the loss of so many, so needlessly. Maybe we don’t, but the fact he holds a high position in Canadian business makes his opinion worth hearing.
As it happens, I don’t often buy Michael McCain’s hot dog wieners or bacon but, if I did, this certainly wouldn’t make me consider boycotting them. In fact, it just might inspire me to visit the packaged meats section on my way home.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.