Indian-origin Canadian politician Anita Anand was appointed as the country’s new Defence Minister in a Cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, over a month after his Liberal Party returned power in the snap polls and amid calls for major military reforms.
Anand, 54, will replace long-time defence minister Indian-origin Harjit Sajjan, whose handling of the military sexual misconduct crisis has been under criticism.
Sajjan has been appointed as Minister of International Development Agency, a report in the National Post newspaper said.
The new Cabinet maintains gender balance and has 38 members, up one person from before the election, it said.
According to a report in Global News, Anand has been touted as a strong contender for weeks among defence industry experts who said that moving her into the role would send a powerful signal to survivors and victims of military sexual misconduct that the government is serious about implementing major reforms.
The Canadian military is facing intense public and political pressure to change its culture and create better systems for both preventing and handling sexual misconduct allegations, it said.