Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan has returned to work 40 days sober after signing himself into a Toronto-based treatment facility in December.
The St. John’s South—Mount Pearl MP said he made the decision to seek treatment after starting to drink several alcoholic beverages at the end of most days over the past two years.
He remained on the wellness program over Christmas and New Year’s, receiving “many hours of counseling, meditation and acquiring the tools to remain alcohol-free.”
“I was still working effectively and competently, but I realized, over time, that being competent was not good enough,” he wrote on Facebook.
“I was far from my best self. And the simple truth is that I owe my best self to my marriage, to my family, to my friends, and to my constituents.
“I realized that, for me, just trying to use alcohol less — or more responsibly — was not working.”
O’Regan was elected to represent the Newfoundland and Labrador riding in October’s federal election. He replaced NDP incumbent Ryan Cleary.
He says he’s now “ready to be the most effective and accessible Member of Parliament I can possibly be.”
O’Regan is a former journalist and hosted CTV’s Canada AM for almost a decade.
Prior to his career in journalism, he was a senior policy adviser to then Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin.
O’Regan was also an ambassador for Bell Let’s Talk, a campaign aimed at removing the stigma of mental illness.
The Liberal Party account tweeted: “Welcome back and happy birthday, Seamus. We’re with you.”
The MP’s Facebook page was filled with messages from well-wishers.
Stephanie McClellan from Lewisporte, Nfld., wrote: “Thank you, Seamus, for your courage and example. Your integrity and honesty brings with it an even greater respect and appreciation for what you can and will do from your position in Ottawa.”
“You have shown us all the depth of your strength by going public with your health issues and that is admired by many of us. Walk proud,” Geoff Chaulk from St. John's, Nfld., posted.
– With files from Nick Westoll and The Canadian Press