Liberal Senator Rod Zimmer is retiring from the upper chamber effective immediately.
According to the Canadian Press, Zimmer, 70, tendered his resignation last week on the advice of his doctor.
Zimmer has been in and out of hospital several times this year, most recently in May with a respiratory ailment.
Prior to being appointed to the Senate, he was diagnosed in 2003 with throat cancer, but bounced back.
Zimmer — who was appointed to the Senate by Paul Martin in 2005 to represent Manitoba — made headlines last year for a strange story involving his 23-year-old bride Maygan Sensenberger.
Sensenberger was arrested in late August after the crew of an Air Canada flight accused her of causing a ruckus, uttering threats against her husband and threatening to take down the plane.
She received a 12-month suspended sentence with one-year probation for the disturbance.
Her husband's resignation means that the Senate now has four vacant seats: one in each of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.
The government has not committed to halting the practice of appointing new senators despite the pending Supreme Court reference into what it would take to reform or abolish the upper chamber.
Zimmer will earn a taxpayer funded pension, as he has served in the upper house for more than 6 years.
About Rod Zimmer:
From his Senate biography:
"Since 1993, he has been the President of The Gatehouse Corporation. From 1995 to 1998, he served as Vice President for the Festivals for the Pan American Games Society Inc. From 1985 to 1993, he was the Vice-President of Marketing and Communications for the Manitoba Lotteries Foundation and was also the Director of Project Management for the Canadian Sports Pool Corporation in Ottawa in 1984. From 1979 to 1983, he was Vice President of Corporate Communications for CanWest Capital Corporation. In 1973, he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan.
He is an extremely active player within his community, volunteering his services for countless charitable causes and organizations including serving as President of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet from 1989 to 1991 and as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club from 1981 to 1993. Throughout his career, he has developed and coordinated appeals for various charitable groups, arts and sport organizations and universities.
(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)
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