Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has lived up to his reputation of championing gender equality after carrying out a major cabinet reshuffle which saw Mélanie Joly appointed as foreign minister and Anita Anand as defence minister.
Trudeau’s Cabinet remains gender balanced as it has been since the Liberal Party’s election in 2015.
Following the announcement, Trudeau said that Canadians were “expecting big things to be done by Parliament and by this government. “With a refreshed and reinvigorated team around me, I’m really excited about what we’re going to be able to accomplish,” he told a news conference.
Anita Anand is just the second woman to ever hold the defence portfolio in Canada. The former academic previously headed up Canada’s procurement during the pandemic, which included securing the country’s supply of Covid-19 vaccines.
Trudeau described Anand as “a world class expert in governance” who would help lead the necessary change in the culture of the armed forces.
Mélanie Joly, 42, previously served as minister of economic development and before that as heritage minister.
While only securing a minority government in last month’s election, Trudeau appears resolute about his plans forward. He said that addressing climate change remained a major priority, and vowed that Canada would “encourage, challenge the world to do even more, go even faster” at the UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow this month.