Newly appointed federal defence minister visits troops at CFB Edmonton

In one of her first official trips as Canada’s newly appointed defence minister, Anita Anand took time to thank the troops at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton on Thursday morning for what has been a difficult year and a half.

“You saved our country and for that we all own you a debt of gratitude,” Anand said in her speech to approximately 300 soldiers. “The work of the Canadian Armed Forces has been central to Canada’s ability to survive.”

Read more: Sajjan out as defence minister; Anita Anand takes helm of embattled military amid misconduct crisis

Many Canadian Armed Forces members spent the last year and a half on the front lines of COVID-19 pandemic relief and more recently on fire and flood relief in B.C.

“The past year and a half has been difficult on many fronts,” Anand said in her speech.

Story continues below advertisement

Click to play video: 'More military troops from CFB Edmonton headed to B.C. to help with flood aftermath' More military troops from CFB Edmonton headed to B.C. to help with flood aftermath

More military troops from CFB Edmonton headed to B.C. to help with flood aftermath – Nov 21, 2021

Anand’s trip out west was one of her first priorities as minister.

“Coming out west as my first trip to a base out west has been so important, right here in Edmonton,” Anand said to Global News. “I wanted to come personally to say ‘thank you.’”

Joining the defence minister was Gen. Wayne Eyre, who, only two weeks ago, was named the permanent chief of the defence staff after his predecessor was investigated for sexual misconduct.

Read more: Over 40 per cent of military sexual misconduct class action claims are from men: Eyre

Changing the culture within the armed forces was a focus of the speeches.

“We got to reconcile with some issues in our past and change the way that we look after right now so that we can attract and retain that talent wherever it may be in Canadian society,” Eyre said in his speech. “I need each and everyone of you on board for that because we are going to change it. We are going to make our organization more welcoming.”

Story continues below advertisement

Click to play video: 'Canadian military sexual misconduct survivors still wait for apology from Ottawa' Canadian military sexual misconduct survivors still wait for apology from Ottawa

Canadian military sexual misconduct survivors still wait for apology from Ottawa – Nov 16, 2021

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source