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NDP MP Romeo Saganash apologized Monday after he was taken off an Air Canada Jazz flight Friday because he was too drunk to fly, CBC is reporting.
“It was Friday, it had been a long week and we’re all stressed out at that time,” Saganash told CBC News. “I apologize…This is the first time that it has happened in 30 years in the air. I regret what happened and it won’t happen again.”
Saganash, a Cree MP, represents the riding of Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou.
Saganash has taken a temporary leave of absence from his role as MP to seek treatment.
In a statement, posted on his website, Saganash said he is battling with a “dependence on alcohol” which he said was an illness.
“Neither fatigue nor stress can justify what I did. I need help to overcome a medical problem, a dependence on alcohol, like far too many Canadians,” he said, in the statement. “I am not looking at excuses, but I know that profound scars were left on me because of my time in residential school. I never shied away from that. The death of my friend and mentor Jack Layton also greatly affected me. Like him, I needed a crutch. The leadership race wore me out, on top of taking me away from my children and my loved ones even more often.”
Saganash also ran for the NDP leadership but later dropped out.