Sudbury mayor wants highway checkpoints to curb COVID-19 spread in northern Ont.

highway

The mayor of Sudbury, Ont., is calling for highway checkpoints that would discourage non-essential travel to northern Ontario.

Mayor Brian Bigger says he plans to reach out to the provincial government and other local leaders about a proposed ``northern bubble'' to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the region, where case rates are lower.

He says he wants to see a plan that will ``stop or stymie traffic'' up Highway 69, a major highway connecting northern and southern Ontario.

Bigger says there's a need to insulate his city as more infectious variants of COVID-19 are detected in southern parts of the province.

He says the idea of travel checkpoints isn't unreasonable, pointing to a similar initiative in Quebec last fall meant to discourage non-essential travel.

The provincial transportation ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.