Sudbury Mayor Bigger Remains Vocal On The Idea Of A Northern Bubble & Highway Checkpoints
The following is a statement issued by Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger:
"This past weekend has served as another difficult reminder of just how dangerous and deadly the COVID-19 virus is. I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family members and friends of the residents who lost their life at Finlandiakoti Apartments and Amberwood Suites over the weekend and ask that as a community our thoughts and prayers be with them.
As we have been experiencing the sad and very real impacts of COVID-19 for almost one year and we are just a few weeks away from the anniversary of our first case appearing in Greater Sudbury, we now have a caseload of close to 100 and we are preparing for what could be the inevitable arrival of variant cases of COVID-19 in our community. I would like to reinforce my earlier directions about keeping our community safe.
We have seen a surge of cases in 2021 and regrettably most of those cases can be attributed to travel. Now more than ever, our health, the sustainability of our local economy, our education and health care systems are relying on vigilance and the assurance that we as a community will contain this second wave and prevent further spread. With the COVID-19 variant now appearing in Barrie, that is far too close to home for any of us to rest easy or make poor choices. I am asking again - stay at home. Do not travel unless absolutely necessary and if you must, make as few stops as possible. As well, we also need to discourage visitors coming to our region. Cancel in-person plans if you have them. Discourage anyone from coming north. Now is not the time for casual tourism. We have seen the tragic consequences of travel in our city and it must stop immediately.
There has been talk of a northern bubble, of checkpoints, of the OPP monitoring travel. Quebec implemented such checkpoints as far back as October to stem traffic between regions. It was a visible deterrent and it dissuaded travel. I have been quite vocal that we are relying on Premier Ford to assist with protecting our seniors, our kids still at school and our hospitals that are dangerously full. I will be reaching out to the province again this week to request an action plan that will either stop or stymie traffic flow up Highway 69 unless absolutely necessary and expedite the flow of vaccines to us up here. The concept of checkpoints is not unrealistic and it has been proven as an effective tool. We are in the middle of winter and at a crossroads in this pandemic. To remain safe, we need to insulate our city for a short amount of time and by any means necessary stop the spread of the COVID 19 variant that is creeping north.
I will be contacting the province this week and will be seeking the support of our local leaders and authorities to find a way to make this happen. It may be an inconvenience to some, but worth it if it saves lives and helps our community get closer to safely re-opening.
Also, please take the province's orders very seriously and do everything you can. It is extremely vital that we stay at home to reduce community spread."
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