OTTAWA – Parry Sound/Muskoka MP Tony Clement leapt to his feet shouting “Hear, hear” after a promise that Canada will never become a safe haven for zombies.
Don't be afraid, Parry Sound Muskoka MP Tony Clement is not really a zombie. This is how the Almaguin News creative department envisioned him in the event that he doesn't survive a zombie apocalypse.
Clement, an admitted fan of the television series The Walking Dead, told The Almaguin News that the debate in the House of Commons was all in good fun.
“Obviously Canada is not, I repeat not, under any threat of a zombie invasion,” he said. “I think the question was entirely hypothetical but a lot of questions in the House of Commons are entirely hypothetical so it really doesn’t distinguish itself that way.”
Clement says when Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was able to provide assurances to Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin he stood and cheered for “our preparedness when it comes to a zombie invasion.”
The House of Commons debate on Feb. 13 went:
Winnipeg MP Pat Martin: I rise today to salute the Centre of Disease Control in Atlanta and the Province of Quebec for putting in place emergency measures to deal with the possibility of an invasion of zombies. Now I don’t need to tell you Mr. Speaker that zombies don’t recognize borders and that a zombie invasion in the United States could easily turn into a continent wide pandemic if its not contained. So on behalf of concerned Canadians everywhere Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs, is he working with his American Counterparts to develop an international zombie strategy so that a zombie invasion does not turn into a zombie apocalypse.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird: Mr. Speaker I want to assure this member and all Canadians that I am dead-icated to ensuring that this never happens. I want to say categorically to this member and through him to all Canadians that under the leadership of this Prime Minister, Canada will never become a safe-haven for zombies ever.
Under a Point of Order, minutes later, Baird added to the Commons debate: Mr. Speaker, in reference to a question I received from the member for Winnipeg Centre, we should take this issue very seriously. If there is a zombie attack, Canadians need to be well prepared. They should stock up on first aid kits, monster trucks, canned food and water, and I am not going to stand in this place and not warn Canadians that if the NDP had its way, Canadians would have to pay a carbon tax on each and every one of those—
“Some of them have some wild ideas. You don’t want to be harbouring people that might be infecting us with something other than their DNA,” said Clement.
Clement assures Canadians that they are not under threat of a zombie invasion.
“In fact, if I had any contrary information I could not divulge it to you anyway,” he said.
Despite the seemingly frivolous nature of the debate there is a serious undercurrent. According to their website, The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta began what was intended as a tongue-in-cheek campaign to engage new audiences with preparedness measures. It turns out, that zombies are an effective tool for educating the public on how to prepare for a natural disaster.
“We continue to reach and engage a wide variety of audiences on all hazards preparedness via Zombie Preparedness; and as our own director, Dr. Ali Khan, notes, ‘If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack,’” states the website.
The House of Commons debate received more than a million views after being posted to YouTube by Macleans Magazine.
“There is a serious message in there somewhere,” said Clement. “I think that Minister Baird got back on his feet to make sure we all had our emergency preparedness kits for either zombie invasions or other types of attacks, like flu attacks and things like that.”
Clement says it was all for a good cause to prepare people of what should be done in the event of a public health emergency.