Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante believes there's a disconnect between the way city initiatives such as bike paths and pedestrian-only streets are depicted in the news media and how residents actually feel about them.
Plante made the remark Friday on CBC Montreal's Daybreak, when she was asked to give her sense of the current mood in the city.
"I'm feeling a big gap between messages and conversations and talks I'm having with people in the street — because I've been out there all summer long — versus this kind of discourse in the media," she said.
"There seems to be such a big gap," she added.
Plante has faced criticism, at least in some quarters, for closing down commercial arteries and installing more bike paths, including one on St-Denis Street, during the pandemic.
In particular, she has been accused by a number of French-language commentators for being out of touch with Montrealers, as documented in a recent La Presse column by François Cardinal.
Cardinal suggested Plante is out of touch the same way former mayor Denis Coderre was before he was voted out of office.
Plante pushed back against that idea, saying the views getting the most attention aren't necessarily held by a majority of Montrealers.
"I don't want to minimize the frustration of some people. But it's not representative.... It's really polarized," she said.
Plante described how she visited Mount Royal Avenue on Thursday, which has been closed to cars this summer, and found it was full of energy.
"Everybody was stopping and saying, 'We love this.'"
Listen to the full interview here