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Hugh MacKay was charged with driving under the influence during the Thanksgiving weekend, the MLA for Chester-St. Margaret’s admitted in a statement released by the Nova Scotia Liberal Caucus Office on Tuesday morning.
“I have always believed in being fully open and transparent with my constituents. As such, I feel it is necessary to disclose what is a deeply personal and regretful incident,” MacKay said in statement through the Liberal caucus.
“During the holiday weekend, I was charged with an offence of driving under the influence,” MacKay said. “I, like many others, have struggled with alcohol addiction issues for several years. I have always been open about the fact that I am a recovering alcoholic, and that I have been actively undergoing treatment since 2004.”
“This relapse has not only impacted myself, my family, my colleagues and my community – but as an elected official, I am also aware of how much this news may impact people from throughout the province.”
MacKay says that he is now planning on undergoing additional treatment and that he is seeking help. He has apologized to all those who were relying on him as a candidate during the election and that he may still be able to run if the treatment goes well.
According to the Chronicle Herald, Premier Stephen McNeil said MacKay had informed the party of the incident immediately. McNeil says that he will still support MacKay and that the MLA is not facing discipline. However, McNeil did not say when MacKay may return.
“That could potentially be very shortly, it depends on what treatment looks like,” said McNeil. “We’d be having a very different conversation if he did not accept responsibility. He’s seeking treatment. This is a disease that has impacted many Nova Scotians.”