Canada

Missing senator ordered to show up for work

A Canadian senator is under orders to show up for work today. Andrew Thompson has been to the upper chamber about a dozen times in the past seven years. So far, he hasn't shown up.

The Senate wants Thompson to explain his chronic absenteeism.

Thompson still pulls in an annual salary of about $70,000. He spends much of his time in Mexico. In Ottawa he's been nicknamed "The Siesta Senator."

Last year the Liberal Party ejected Thompson from the caucus. His office, staff and telephone have been taken away.

Thompson is now being told he could lose his salary if he doesn't show up for work.

Tory Senator Bill Rompkey says Thompson has brought disrepute on the Senate and its members. Rompkey says that's "not tolerable" and "there has to be a penalty."

Rompkey says a special Senate committee will likely look at the matter if Thompson doesn't make it before the sitting adjourns for the day.

Reform MPs paraded through the halls of the Parliament building in sombreros with a hired mariachi band. The Reformers said they wanted Thompson to feel at home. Reform MP Deborah Grey had some fun earlier with the issue. She drew up a map of the Senate and his office, in case Thompson showed up and had trouble finding his way around the building.

Grey says this case illustrates the need for an elected Senate.

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