SUDBURY -- A retired doctor in Sudbury, Peter Zalan, and the city's longest-serving former mayor, Jim Gordon, are just two more people backing calls for stricter measures to protect people in northern Ontario from COVID-19.

At a news conference Tuesday, they were joined by other groups who said the time for a "bubble" is now.

"We have to have a bubble in northeastern Ontario. It's not hard to do and we will have the 'boo babies' who come along and say we can't do it for this reason and that reason," Gordon said. "We are in a war. And when you are in a war, the governments get together and say 'we are gonna do this, this and this,' that's it, no argument."

Zalan called for a bubble for northern Ontario during the first wave and said things are going to get worse before they get better.

The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) Sudbury wants a bubble to protect everyone.

"The roads that come into the city, the roads that go out of the city, if we can negotiate with people and reduce the flow south, north, east, west, I think we can actually reduce the incidents of COVID variants in Sudbury," said Hugh Kruzel, the CARP Sudbury chair.

The Ontario Healthcare Coalition's Sudbury chapter wants stricter measures.

"Well, it's always debatable on what is essential, isn't it? So, yes, we have to say unless it is absolutely crucial. And you have to be able to verify what is absolutely crucial," said Dot Klein, co-chair of the Ontario Healthcare Coalition Sudbury chapter.

Gordon wants politicians to lead right now and said it's time to step up measures to protect people.

"Once the variant comes in, it will gradually become a flood. And when it becomes a flood, then you are in deep trouble. So before it comes, stop it," Gordon said. "That means we shouldn't have to wait weeks to find out they are going to do something."

The various voices calling for a northern Ontario bubble said the time is now, the variant is in in the province, it's unforgiving and we need to protect our communities. 

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