Anita Anand, an Indian-origin politician who won her re-election to the Canadian Parliament in September 2021, was appointed as the nation’s Minister of Defence on Tuesday, 26 October, during a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The reshuffle comes one month after the Liberal Party reassumed power in the Canadian government after winning the snap elections called by Trudeau.
Anand, who is 54 years old, will succeed another Indian-origin as defence minister.
She replaces Harjit Sajjan, who has been criticised for his inaction over allegations of sexual misconduct against former Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance.
Anand has a very lengthy and impressive portfolio, and was once a professor at the University of Toronto where she was also the associate dean for two years.
Born in 1967 in Kentville, Nova Scotia, she was born to a Punjabi mother and Tamilian father, both of whom were physicians.
Her family moved to Ontario in 1985, and Anand subsequently raised her family in Oakville, which has also been her constituency in the House of Commons.
Anand has attained no less than four degrees, including political science and laws from four separate universities, including Oxford and Toronto.
Anita Anand is only the second woman in the history of Canadian politics to take responsibility for this important ministry.