EN - People

Anita Anand From Oakville Is The First Woman Of Colour To Become Canada's Defence Minister

She's also the first woman to hold the position in nearly three decades.

Anita Anand From Oakville Is The First Woman Of Colour To Become Canada's Defence Minister

Anita Indira Anand of Oakville just made history by being the first woman of colour to become Canada's defence minister.

Anand, who represents the Liberals, was sworn in yesterday as Canada's defence minister, replacing Harjit Sajjan. But this is not her first time making national history; Anand was also the first Hindu-background federal cabinet minister in the country.

"It is my sincere honour to be sworn in today as Minister of National Defence," Anand tweeted yesterday. "Thank you @JustinTrudeau for entrusting me with this portfolio."

Originally from Kentville, Nova Scotia, Anand moved to Ontario in the mid-'80s. Before beginning her political career, she worked as a law professor and as a dean at the University of Toronto.

In 2019, Anand was elected as Oakville's member of parliament for the Liberal Party and served as the country's Minister of Public Services and Procurement. In the past, she has also served as a member of the Government of Ontario's Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives.

She said her first priority as defence minister is to help fight sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.

"The members of the Canadian Armed Forces dedicate their lives to safeguarding our country and we owe it to them to make sure that they operate in a safe and healthy environment," Anand wrote in a tweet on Tuesday. "I look forward to this work!"