Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau overhauled his cabinet on Tuesday and named women to the foreign affairs and defence posts in his gender-balanced cabinet.
Trudeau named Mélanie Joly as foreign minister and Anita Anand as defence minister. Chrystia Freeland, widely considered a favourite to replace Trudeau at some point, retains her positions as deputy prime minister and finance minister.
Women make up half of the Cabinet, as they have done since Trudeau’s Liberal government was first elected in 2015.
Joly, a 42-year-old from Montreal, previously served as minister of economic development and before that as heritage minister. Anand, a 54-year-old from Oakville, Ontario is just the second woman to serve as Canada’s defence minister. The 54-year-old from Ontario previously served as procurement minister and led the country’s efforts to purchase vaccines in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Trudeau also created a new role, a minister of mental health and addictions. Carolyn Bennett has been tapped to take on the role.
Harjit Sajjan, heavily criticised for his handling of sexual misconduct allegations in Canada’s military, is leaving the defence portfolio to take up a new post in international development.
Only 10 ministers in Trudeau’s last cabinet are staying put. The cabinet adds up to 39 ministers, including Trudeau.
Canadians gave Trudeau’s Liberal Party a victory in parliamentary elections last month, but his gamble to win a majority of seats failed and the result was remarkably similar to the election two years ago.