Anita Anand is only the second woman to become Canada’s defence minister
Indo-Canadian Anita Anand became just the second woman to be appointed Canada’s minister of national defence as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his new cabinet on Tuesday.
The ministers were sworn in by governor-general Mary May Simon in a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
Anand, who was the first Hindu to become a cabinet minister when she was appointed minister of public services and procurement in 2019, has been promoted to the critical defence portfolio after being praised by Trudeau for her success in procuring Covid-19 vaccines for the country.
She is the first woman to serve as defence minister since Kim Campbell in the 1990s.
Anand, who is of Tamilian-Punjabi heritage, replaced incumbent Harjit Sajjan, who appears to have been demoted, and was named minister of international development and and minister responsible for Pacific economic development Canada. Sajjan’s departure from defence, which he held since 2015, was widely expected as he was criticised for the institutional sexual misconduct crisis that erupted in the Canadian Armed Forces under his watch.
Meanwhile, outgoing foreign minister Marc Garneau has not returned to the cabinet and has been replaced by Melanie Joly.