5 questions with... Maria Arena

Bombardier, plants and surprises.

1.Which person you have worked with has most inspired you in your career, and how?
The people who have inspired me the most in my work are the hundreds of employees who were dismissed by Bombardier, a Canadian multinational aerospace and transportation company. I fought for them to be granted a social plan that was respectful of their qualifications as workers - even if that wasn't considered profitable enough for the company - but that was also respectful of them as fathers who feared for their future and that of their children. These workers touched me deeply and gave real meaning to my political commitment.


2. How would you describe your political style in three words, and why?
I would describe my style as direct, sincere and enthusiastic. Direct, because I don't like hypocritical language. Sincere because citizens deserve sincerity and enthusiastic because that's just how I am.


3. What would be the one object you would try and save from your house in case of a fire (apart from family/friends and pets), and why?
A plant that is the same age as my first son. But it's too big to save in case of fire. I like plants, they show the time passing slowly.


4. Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?
Every day is a surprise for me in my life.


5. What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read, and why?
L'étranger (The Stranger) by Camus. I read it and loved it as a teenager, and again when I read it as an adult with a completely different perspective. It's a book that challenges you and makes you question your place in the world. Similarly, L'attentat, by Yasmina Khadra, is brilliant and so timely.


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