This long-form article, authored by Shannon Proudfoot for MacLeans, offers readers a deeper understanding and appreciation for the demands that have been placed on The Honourable Anita Anand in these challenging times. »
Anand has made a good impression within the CAF and among defence experts. She’s perceived as thoughtful; she takes briefs well, asks smart questions and can quickly drill down to the essence of an issue. It’s easy to sit on files at defence, because it’s a big, cumbersome machine where many of the gears can’t grind into motion until the minister gives the word. It requires a person willing to make a call rather than dithering about media coverage, polls and political calculations.
Anand has demonstrated an early willingness to do so. When she was sworn in, another former Supreme Court justice, Louise Arbour, was deep into a year-long review on sexual misconduct, and had already recommended to Sajjan that criminal cases be transferred to civilian authorities rather than continuing to let the military police itself. As defence minister, Sajjan was viewed as detached, overly deferential to the chief of the defence staff and prone to hoping issues would go away rather than dealing with them. A week into the job, Anand announced she was accepting Arbour’s recommendations immediately.