Nova Scotia

Chester-St. Margaret's MLA says he was charged with drunk driving

Hugh MacKay, a Liberal MLA who represents Chester-St. Margaret's, released a statement on Tuesday that says he was charged with driving under the influence over Thanksgiving weekend.

Hugh MacKay, who has struggled with alcohol addiction in the past, says he's undergoing treatment

It's unclear when and where MLA Hugh MacKay was charged with drunk driving. (CBC)

Chester-St. Margaret's MLA Hugh MacKay announced on Tuesday he was charged with driving under the influence over Thanksgiving weekend.

In a statement released Tuesday, MacKay said he has struggled with alcohol addiction for several years and that he has been actively undergoing treatment since 2004.

"Being your MLA is not a responsibility I take lightly — and 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 wrote.

Halifax District RCMP say a 64-year-old man from Glen Haven, N.S., was arrested without incident on Sunday during a traffic stop on Indian Point Road around 11:30 p.m.

The man was released and is scheduled to appear at Halifax provincial court on Nov. 26 at 10 a.m.

RCMP wouldn't confirm it was MacKay.

'Truly and deeply sorry for my actions'

MacKay said his 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 throughout the province.

"I am truly and deeply sorry for my actions and the negative effect they have had on all those I love and respect."

MacKay asked for privacy for himself and his family as he seeks treatment.

The Liberal MLA was not at the sitting of Province House in Halifax Tuesday.

'If you're struggling, reach out,' premier says

Premier Stephen McNeil said he's unaware if MacKay had any other incidents with alcohol during his time as an MLA.

McNeil said he knew MacKay was recovering, but had no idea he'd relapsed. 

"My message to anyone, whether it's with this particular issue or other circumstances, if you're struggling, reach out to people who care about you. That's the message for us," McNeil said.

"This is not judgmental on my part, I would have preferred to know about this a long time ago, so I could have helped him."

Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston said he's happy to hear MacKay is seeking treatment.

Nova Scotia NDP Leader Gary Burrill said he hoped MacKay is getting the the help he needs.

"We wish him the best of luck in his recovery," Stephen Tobin, the director of strategic communications for the Nova Scotia Liberal caucus office, told CBC News in a phone interview.

With files from Michael Gorman

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