Phoenix pay debacle top-of-mind for new public services minister
Canada's new minister of public services and procurement says she's ready to get to work on the pressing issues in her ministry — most notably the failed Phoenix pay system for public servants.
Anita Anand, a lawyer and academic, was sworn into cabinet on Wednesday. She says her background will help shape the way she fits into this role.
"My background is also in corporate governance. And I've been a law professor for 22 years," she told CBC's The House on Friday. "And that time period I spent getting deeply involved with the Securities Act.
"And if you know that statute, it's highly highly intensive on detail. And this ministry is also very concerned with detail and administrative responsibility. And so I will bring those two abilities to the table."
Anand said she was always drawn to public office, a goal supported by her late mother. The day she joined cabinet was the anniversary of her death.
"People thought I was nervous when I was saying my oath," she said. "It was actually I was quite emotional, missing my mom at that time."
With the oath taken and the briefings just getting started, Anand said she's ready to get to work. Her top priority, she said remains fixing Phoenix. The error-prone public service pay system has led to many federal public servants being underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all for more than two years.
"There's no question that Canada's public servants deserve to be paid accurately and on time for their important work. And that's something that I'm going to continue to turn my mind to," she said.