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Sleeping on the job? One MP feels your pain

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If you've ever fallen asleep on the job, you might have sympathy for MP Rob Anders, who reportedly snoozed through a presentation on homeless veterans this week in Halifax.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, veterans advocates are not sympathetic, however.

Jim Lowther, the president of Veterans Emergency Transition Services, said Mr. Anders arrived late, spent some time texting, and then fell asleep.

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"He almost smashed his head on the table, he was that out of it."

That the topic of discussion was a serious one – a program that helped get 13 veterans off the street in the past year – makes the case especially cringe-worthy. And to make matters worse, the meeting was a small one, with under 20 attendees, the Citizen reports. (Mr. Anders had not yet made a comment at press time.)

Mr. Anders is getting a reputation for this behaviour. A YouTube video of the Conservative MP sleeping in the House of Commons went viral last fall.

Another member of the Veterans Emergency Transition Services, David MacLeod, had harsh words for this week's transgression. He had been discussing his group seeking charitable status.

"At that point I figured most people were paying attention but then I looked down the table and there's old snoozy," Mr. MacLeod told the Citizen. "Old snoozy at the end of the table didn't give a damn. That just fried my bacon."

Another MP on the committee, Sean Casey, told the paper this wasn't the first time this had happened in this group.

"This happens fairly regularly at veterans committee so it wasn't out of the ordinary," the Liberal MP said.

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Still, he defended his colleague. "I wouldn't for one minute accuse him of falling asleep because he doesn't care although I can see why someone would come to that conclusion."

Barring a medical explanation (the Citizen reports that Mr. Anders' office has suggested a car crash last fall may be a cause), is falling asleep on the job the ultimate faux pas?

Have you ever made the mistake of being an "old snoozy"?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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