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Anita Anand

Anita Indira Anand is the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Member of Parliament representing the riding of Oakville in the House of Commons of Canada. She is the first Indian Canadian of a Hindu background to become a federal minister in Canada and is the first female Hindu Member of Parliament.

Anand became the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, having been sworn in as a member of the Queen's Privy Council of Canada on November 20, 2019. On October 21, 2019, the 2019 Canadian election, Anand was elected to the House of Commons of Canada, representing the riding of Oakville as the candidate from the Liberal Party of Canada.

Prior to her political career, Anand was a Canadian law professor at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law specializing in corporate governance and the regulation of the capital markets. She was previously the J.R. Kimber Chair in Investor Protection and Corporate Governance at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. She was also Scholar-in-Residence at the law firm Torys LLP. As of October 2019, Anand is on leave from University of Toronto, Faculty of Law, for the duration of her time as an elected official.

Early life and education

Anita Anand was born in Kentville, Nova Scotia. Her parents were both physicians; her mother Saroj D. Ram (now deceased) was an anesthesiologist, and her father S.V. (Andy) Anand was a general surgeon. Her father was from Tamil Nadu and her mother was from Punjab. Anand has two sisters: Gita Anand, who is an employment lawyer in Toronto, and Sonia Anand, who is a medical doctor and researcher at McMaster University.

The family relocated to Ontario in 1985 and Anand and her husband John raised their family in Oakville. The couple has four children.

Anand holds four degrees: a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Studies from Queen's University; a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Jurisprudence from Wadham College, Oxford University; a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University; and a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1994.

Anand has held academic positions at Yale, Queen's University and Western University. Before her election, Anand was a law professor at the University of Toronto.

Academic career

Anand is an internationally recognized expert in governance, investor rights and financial market regulation. Since her election, Anand has been on leave from the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto.

Anand began her legal career as an Associate Lawyer at Torys LLP from 1994 to 1997 (with leave to pursue her master's degree), after articling at Torys from 1992–1993. She then pursued her teaching career by serving as Assistant Professor (adjunct) from 1997–1999 at the Faculty of Law of Western University. In 1999, she became Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at Queen's University, obtaining tenure and advancing to the rank of Associate Professor in 2003. She received a U.S.-Canada Fulbright award in 2005 and attended Yale Law School as a Visiting Lecturer in Law (Fall 2005) teaching comparative corporate governance. She was also Visiting Olin Scholar in Law and Economics at Yale Law School (2005-2006).

She left Queen's University for the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto in 2006 where she was a Full Professor. She served as Associate Dean from 2007–2009. From 2010–2019, Anand also served as the Academic Director of the Centre for the Legal Profession, as well as for its Program on Ethics in Law and Business. At the time of her election, she was a Senior Fellow of Massey College, as well as being cross-appointed to the Rotman School of Management as the Director of Policy and Research at the Capital Markets Research Institute, and to the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto.

The Government of Canada web site provides the following additional background information:
Minister Anand has completed extensive research on the regulation of financial markets, corporate governance, and shareholder rights, and has appeared regularly in the media to discuss these topics. In 2015, she was appointed to the Government of Ontario’s Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives. She has conducted research for Ontario's Five-Year Review Committee, the federal Wise Person's Committee, and the Task Force to Modernize Securities Legislation in Canada.
On September 17, 2019 it was announced that Anand would receive the Yvan Allaire Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. The medal is bestowed annually for an outstanding contribution in governance of private and public organizations. The Society stated that Anand's research "significantly altered global thinking about best practices for boards of directors, including the importance of diversity on boards". 

Political career (2019-present)



Campaign

On June 12, 2019, Anita Anand won the Liberal nomination for the riding of Oakville, Ontario, after the incumbent John Oliver announced that he would not run in the 2019 election. She beat former MPP Kevin Flynn and lawyer Tamur Shah.

On October 21, 2019, Anand won the riding of Oakville with 30,265 votes. Her closest competitor, Conservative candidate Terence Young, had 25,561 votes while NDP candidate Jerome Adamo got 4,928 votes, the Green party's James Elwick received 3,704 votes and PPC candidate JD Meaney got 798 votes.

That night, Anand told her campaign team, volunteers and local media that “This is our collective victory. It was my goal to run a positive, collaborative campaign. That’s exactly what we did. We kept the message positive at the doors. We didn’t speak negatively about our opponents. We spoke about the platform. We spoke about what we wanted to do together for this riding and for this country.”

Anand was sworn in as Member of Parliament for Oakville on November 22, 2019 and represents Oakville in the House of Commons in the 43rd Canadian Parliament.

Minister of Supply and Services

On November 20, 2019, Anand was sworn in as a member of the Queen's Privy Council of Canada and as Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility at Rideau Hall. The ministry web site states that it "serves as purchasing agent, property manager, treasurer, accountant and pay and pension administrator for the federal government", according to a Toronto Star summary. The Mandate Letter from the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau outlines the role in detail.

Electoral record

Awards and recognition

  • Governor General's Medal (1985)
  • Medal in Political Studies, Queen's University (1989)
  • Canadian Association of Law Teachers' Scholarly Paper Award (2003)
  • Queens' Law Students' Society Excellence in Teaching Award, Queen's University (Fall 2004)
  • Canada U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award (2005-2006)
  • Best Paper in Managerial Finance (with L. Purda and F. Milne), International Journal of Managerial Finance (2006)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council awards (2017, 2011, 2006, 2001)
  • Bertha Wilson Honour Society, Schulich School of Law (2012)
  • Trailblazer Award, Canadian Association of South Asian Lawyers (2013)
  • Law Foundation of Ontario Research Award (2016)
  • Yvan Allaire Medal, Royal Society of Canada (2019)

    Personal life

    Anand, her husband John, and four children have lived in Oakville, Ontario for 17 years. The family has two dogs, a Wheaton Terrier and an Aussie Doodle. They are also fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors.

    Over her 17 years in Oakville, Anand has served her local community in a number of ways. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Lighthouse for Grieving Children, the Oakville Hospital Foundation and Oakville Hydro Electricity Distribution Inc. She was also the inaugural chair of the Ontario Securities Commission Investor Advisory Panel.

    Her younger sister, Sonia Anand, is a prominent medical researcher and academic based at McMaster University.