Businessman Monsef Derraji, 42, is the new Liberal candidate in the Nelligan riding on the West Island.
The Dollard-des-Ormeaux resident is the president and director general of the Quebec Youth Chamber of Commerce, and before that, worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than a decade.
During the official announcement on Tuesday, Derraji said if he were to be elected, public transportation would be a top priority.
“I’m a resident of the West Island. I have the same problem — me and my wife, we work downtown and it’s not easy to get downtown,” he said.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says Derraji was the one for the job because of his extensive economic and business experience.
“Monsef reflects what Quebec is today in many ways — part of that is diversity but also a very modern outlook to Quebec,” he said. “He’s an economic candidate too and I think West Islanders always like to have economic candidates, as far as I can remember.”
Derraji would be taking over from MNA Martin Coiteux.
In April, the public security minister announced that he would not be seeking re-election after just one term in office.
“Honestly, he’s the ideal candidate for Nelligan, he’s the ideal candidate for the West Island,” said Coiteux. “For me, it was very important that the West Island had a very strong voice in the national assembly.”
The riding is a longtime Liberal stronghold. In 2014, Coiteux won with 80 per cent of the vote.
Residents like Itsik Romano, who has had the chance to deal with Coiteux one-on-one during last year’s spring floods, says it’s a big role to fill.
“I think whoever is going to come in is definitely going to have big shoes to fill because it’s the West Island and Martin Coiteux — I think he did a great job with what he had,” said Romano.
Though the announcement puts an end to the mystery of who will take over from MNA Coiteux, there’s still another prominent West Island Liberal seat up for grabs.
In June, Geoffrey Kelley announced he would not seek re-election in the Jacques-Cartier riding. His replacement is yet to be named.