Clay Mazurkewich, a candidate for mayor in Saskatoon, says his awkward behaviour during a television debate was due to prescription medication, mixed with a small amount of alcohol.

Mazurkewich, one of three candidates for mayor, said his awkward pauses, slurring and stumbling — which were noted by viewers who then commented on what they saw using social media sites — related to medicine used to treat a condition known as bipolar disorder.

He explained the medication can make him appear drowsy.

Mazurkewich said he also had one beer.


Clay Mazurkewich says medication for bipolar disorder can make him appear drowsy. He says he took a pill just before a TV debate. (Courtesy: CTV)

"One beer is not going to make me intoxicated," he said. "I took the pill at quarter to six, before I went onstage."

Mazurkewich spoke openly about a difficult divorce in his past that led to a struggle with alcohol for a time, but added his drinking is under control.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States, studies show almost 1 in 25 adults may experience an episode of bipolar disorder in his or her lifetime. 

With files from CBC's Dan Zakreski