Anita Vandenbeld

Anita Vandenbeld MP (born December 3, 1971) is a Canadian politician, who was elected to represent the riding of Ottawa West—Nepean for the Liberal Party of Canada in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2015 Canadian federal election.[2] She was re-elected in the same riding in 2019.[3]

Anita Vandenbeld

Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Ottawa West—Nepean
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded byJohn Baird
Personal details
Born (1971-12-03) December 3, 1971
Calgary, Alberta, Canada[1]
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Don Dransfield
Alma materUniversity of Calgary
York University

She has a B.A. in history from the University of Calgary and an M.A. from York University in Toronto. She has worked extensively with United Nations organizations and was Senior Parliamentary Advisor with UNDP and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.[4]

Education and early life

Vandenbeld was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. She attended the University of Calgary, earning a B.A. (Hon.), History and Political Science, and would later study at York University, receiving an M.A. in Political and Constitutional History.


International development

Vandenbeld worked with the United Nations Development Programme Democratic Governance Group in New York, where she managed a multi-partner international network to promote women's political participation International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics.[5] Vandenbeld was also Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of the Central Assembly and Political Parties Section of the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe Mission in Kosovo. In 2008, she was awarded the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal for her work there. Vandenbeld coordinated an anti-corruption campaign with the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and worked on parliamentary development in the Balkans with the Ottawa-based Parliamentary Centre, a Canadian non-profit, non-partisan organization that provides support to parliaments around the world.[6]

Vandenbeld was posted with UNDP in Bangladesh as a technical specialist on parliamentary committees. Prior to that Anita was resident director in the National Democratic Institute office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where she established a political party program during the November 2011 Congolese elections.[7] Anita Vandenbeld has worked on democratic development and women's political participation in over 20 countries, including authoring a study on women's political participation in Vietnam and having worked with NDI conducting a women's political leadership academy in Haiti.[8]

Anita is a contributing author to the Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements.[9] Vandenbeld is a member of the steering committee of the World Movement for Democracy. Vandenbeld was also a board member at the Parliamentary Centre, a Canadian NGO that does parliamentary development globally, and she was a founding board member of the Centre for Democratic and Participatory Governance in Brussels.[10]


Vandenbeld was previously Director of Parliamentary Affairs in the Office of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and oversaw the development and implementation of the Government of Canada's Democratic Reform Action Plan under the Minister responsible for Democratic Reform. She was also a Policy Analyst with the National Liberal Caucus Research Bureau in the Canadian Parliament, Chief of staff to a Canadian Senator, and chapter development chair for Equal Voice, a Canadian multi-partisan organization to promote women in politics.[11]

Federal politics

Vandenbeld won a contested nomination to be the Liberal Party of Canada candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean for the 2011 Canadian federal election on November 28, 2010.[12] Vandenbeld was defeated by incumbent MP and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.

Vandenbeld again sought the Ottawa West-Nepean nomination for the 2015 Canadian federal election, winning a contested nomination against two other candidates on November 2, 2014.[6] Her campaign was successful, winning the seat with 56% of the vote on October 19, 2015. Her 35,199 votes represented the 5th highest vote total of any Liberal candidate in Ontario and the highest vote count for a female candidate in Ontario.[13]

On July 29, 2018 [14] Anita Vandenbeld was nominated as the candidate for re-election in the 2019 Canadian federal election by the Liberal Party of Canada. She was elected with 45.6% of the votes.

Roles in the House of Commons

Vandenbeld was the Chair of the National Liberal Women's Caucus from 2015 to September 2018 and sat on the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. In March, 2016, she was elected as Chair of the Special Committee on Pay Equity[15] following the adoption of a motion by the House of Commons from the New Democratic Party to close the gap in pay between men and women which contributes to income inequality and discriminates against women, accept pay equity as a human right, accept the recommendations of the 2004 Pay Equity Task Force Report. The final report, "It's Time to Act[16]" was tabled on June 9, 2016.

Currently, Vandenbeld chairs the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Humans Rights [17] and sits on the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development[18] and on the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.[19]

On December 12, 2019 Anita Vandenbeld was appointed by the Prime Minister as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence[20].

Conflict of Interest Inquiry

Vandenbeld was investigated in 2018 by the Ethics Commissioner for possible violation of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons during the 2018 Ottawa municipal election 2018 Ottawa municipal election campaign by endorsing her husband.[21]

On July 10, 2019, the Ethics Commissioner released his final report [22] and recommended that "no sanction be imposed because it was apparent to me that Ms. Vandenbeld’s failure to comply with section 11 of the Code occurred through an error in judgment made in good faith. She had made significant efforts to comply with the rules that she had considered, namely the Members By-law of the House of Commons’ Board of Internal Economy. She expressed a sincere belief that running for public office did not engage private interests. She also immediately stopped all of her campaign activities upon seeking and obtaining my advice in October 2018."[23]

Electoral record

2019 Canadian federal election: Ottawa West—Nepean
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
LiberalAnita Vandenbeld27,59945.6-10.08
ConservativeAbdul Abdi16,49127.1-2.78
New DemocraticAngela MacEwen11,40118.7+8.9
GreenDavid Stibbe3,8236.3+3.5
People'sSerge Guevorkian8201.3
Christian HeritageSean Mulligan3500.6-0.57
Total valid votes/Expense limit 62,206100.0   $109,420.82 EST
Total rejected ballots 6020.96
Turnout 62,80872.62
Eligible voters 86,485
Liberal hold Swing +14.11%
Source: Elections Canada[24][25]
2015 Canadian federal election: Ottawa West—Nepean
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
LiberalAnita Vandenbeld35,19955.68+24.19
ConservativeAbdul Abdi18,89329.88-14.81
New DemocraticMarlene Rivier6,1959.80-9.98
GreenMark Brooks1,7722.80-1.24
Christian HeritageRod Taylor7401.17
Marxist–LeninistSam Heaton1140.18
Total valid votes/Expense limit 62,913100.0   $218,107.39
Total rejected ballots 3070.49
Turnout 63,22075.99
Eligible voters 83,195
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +19.5%
Source: Elections Canada[26][27]
2011 Canadian federal election: Ottawa West—Nepean
Party Candidate Votes%±%Expenditures
ConservativeJohn Baird25,22644.71-0.27
LiberalAnita Vandenbeld17,79031.53-4.59
New DemocraticMarlene Rivier11,12819.72+8.20
GreenMark Mackenzie2,2794.04-2.32
Total valid votes/Expense limit 56,423100.00 
Total rejected ballots 2920.51
Turnout 56,715 69.42
Eligible voters 81,693
Conservative hold Swing -2.43


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-07-09. Retrieved 2015-10-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. Don Butler (20 October 2015). "Liberals reclaim Ottawa West-Nepean after nine years as Conservative stronghold". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  4. "Liberal Party of Canada".
  5. "Home Page | International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  6. "Anita Vandenbeld will again carry the flag for the Liberals in Ottawa West-Nepean". 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  7. "Ottawa West—Nepean profile: Liberal candidate Anita Vandenbeld | Metro News". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  8. "Meet Anita". 2018-10-24. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  9. "The Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements". Oxford University Press. March 25, 2015 via Oxford University Press.
  10. "Anita Vandenbeld". 2019-06-25. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  11. "Index". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  12. Lindell, Rebecca (2011-04-03). "Locality vs. 'celebrity': Candidates face uphill battle against incumbents". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  13. david-akin. "Number crunching: New MP Leslie is king of Ontario's races". Archived from the original on 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  14. "Anita Vandenbeld is a devoted MP for Ottawa West—Nepean and we're thrilled to have her on #TeamTrudeau again for 2019!". 2018-07-29. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  15. "ESPE - Election of Chair". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  16. "House of Commons Committees - ESPE (42-1) - It's Time to Act - IT'S TIME TO ACT". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  17. "Anita Vandenbeld at the Subcommittee on International Human Rights". Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  18. "Committee Members". Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  19. "Committee Members". Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  20. "Prime Minister welcomes new parliamentary secretaries". Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  21. "Did an MP break rules by endorsing her husband for city council?". Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  22. "Attempt to use MP position to further a private interest—Commissioner Dion reports on breach of Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons". Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  24. Canada, Elections. "Voter Information Service - Find your electoral district".
  25. Canada, Elections. "Voter Information Service - Find your electoral district".
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