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Why discussing zombies in Question Period isn't that weird
Dozens of people dressed as Zombies and raised donations for the Regina Food Bank.
Published Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:55PM CST
Wednesday Canadians tuning into Question Period might have wondered if they accidentally changed the channel.
Zombies were a brief topic of conversation in House after NDP Pat Martin rose to ask if Canada was prepared in case a zombie problem started in the United States. “I don’t need to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that zombie’s don’t recognize boarders and that a zombie invasion in the United States could easily turn into a continent wide pandemic,” Martin said.
“Is [Foreign Minister John Baird] working with his American counter parts to develop an international zombie strategy so that a zombie invasion doesn’t turn into a zombie apocalypse?” the NDP MP asked to a chorus of chuckles.
Taking up the joke, Baird answered, “I want to assure this member and all Canadians that I am dead-icated to making sure this never happens. I want to say categorically to this member and to all Canadians that under the leadership of this Prime Minister Canada will never become a safe haven for zombies ever!”
Zombies have been popping up a lot lately in pop culture – The Walking Dead is a major television hit, Warm Bodies, a zombie adaptation of Romeo and Juliet was the number 1 movie in Canada in the beginning of February, and now, they’ve reached the House of Commons.
According to Matt Mogk, founder of the Zombie Research Society, it’s not that big of a stretch to go from Hollywood to Ottawa.
Mogk said that unlike other movie monsters, Zombie’s aren’t based on ancient superstitions or myth – they’re based on biology. “They’re just a more fun, or scary, however you want to put it, version of a disease,” he said by phone from California.
The society has over 150,00 members, including plenty in Canada.
The zombie fan and previous disease researcher explained that zombie lore fits well in modern society because it’s simply an extension of things we already fear. “Zombies are a much more horrible version of any other infectious disease. HIV, Bird flu, SARS… all these different contagions that we worry about,” Mogk said. While a zombie outbreak might highly unlikely, preparing for it would mean that a society is ready for any other infectious disease outbreak.
“You may say zombies will never come, but say Canada and the U.S do have a plan, it’s just an infectious disease plan,” Mogk said.
“So if some unforeseen disease does come, it’s inherently practical.”