Marwah Rizqy and Moncef Derraji earned the praise of their colleagues at the assembly.
Rabat – The National Assembly of Quebec named two deputies of Moroccan origins, Marwah Rizqy and Moncef Derraji, as “Stars” of the year 2019.
The National Assembly of Quebec is the legislative body of the province of Quebec in Canada.
The assembly selected Rizqy as deputy of the year, while Derraji earned the title of “rising star” in the assembly. Both deputies represent the Quebec Liberal Party and have won their respective 2018 provincial elections.
Quebec newspaper La Presse announced the decorations after conducting a survey among all members of the assembly.
Rizqy had a remarkable year in the assembly. She risked backlash from her own party when she “suggested they apologize for their policy of austerity.” She also “suggested the creation of an office for ethics and conformity within the [liberal] party,” stated the newspaper.
The publication also recalled Derraji’s distinctive stance in the debate about Quebec’s new program for immigration applicants. “He was able to work in a transpartisan way” on the issue so that immigrant students and workers are not penalized, adds the news outlet.
Derraji was born in Marrakech and grew up in Morocco. After leaving for Quebec, he worked in pharmaceutics for more than 15 years.
The Marrakech-native’s civic engagement earned him recognition in his neighborhood and among his colleagues. In 2009, Derraji founded the congress of Maghrebis in Quebec, an NGO aiming to integrate immigrants from the Maghreb into the professional and social life of Quebec.
Derraji made his political debut in 2015 when he was elected as chairman of the Quebec Rally of Young Chambers of Commerce (RJCCQ).
He has also conducted several economic missions in Morocco for the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM).
While Derraji represents Montreal’s electoral district of Nelligan, his fellow Moroccan Rizqy, represents the district of Saint-Laurent in the same city.
Rizqy was born and raised in Canada to Moroccan parents. Rizqy spent most of her life in Montreal, but she also lived in Florida, in the US, where she earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in fiscal law.
Prior to her election, Rizqy worked as a tax law professor at the University of Sherbrooke. The former professor ran twice for office before her 2018 triumph.
During her campaign, Rizqy presented herself as an “ardent fighter for employment and fiscal equity in Canada.”
Rizqy is also the youngest deputy in the liberal party, at only 34 years old.
As there are more than 300,000 Moroccans living in Canada, and in Quebec mostly, their representation in Canadian authoritative bodies continues to grow.
In January 2019, Nizar Berdai, a 21-year-old Moroccan student was elected as a member of Quebec’s Youth Parliament, becoming one of the few members of the Arab-Muslim community with the youth parliament.
Berdai moved to Canada in 2015, after getting his baccalaureate degree in Sale, Rabat’s twin city. He is a fourth-year finance student at HEC Montreal, and he is simultaneously completing a political science degree at McGill University.