OTTAWA - Zombies on Parliament Hill have long been the bane of those who watch Canadian politics.
Now, in a case of life imitating art, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is assuring the House of Commons that Canada remains a zombie-free zone.
The odd exchange came Wednesday near the end of the daily question period in the House of Commons.
Winnipeg New Democrat Pat Martin raised the matter of a Quebec government disaster planning exercise that used a mock zombie invasion as its premise. B-movie templates of an invasion of the "living dead" have also been used for emergency preparedness drills in the United States.
"I don't need to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that zombies don't recognize borders," Martin warned the House, tongue planted firmly in cheek.
Is the foreign minister, asked the NDP MP, working with his American partners "to develop an international zombie strategy so that a zombie invasion does not turn into a zombie apocalypse?"
Baird rose to the occasion with an equally glib response, telling the House that he was "dead-icated" to the matter.
"Under the leadership of this prime minister, Canada will never become a safe haven for zombies, ever," said Baird.
But he couldn't resist resurrecting an undead Conservative talking point that has lurched through the parliamentary corridors for months: the NDP's fictional carbon tax, which a smiling Baird said would raise the cost of zombie-related emergency provisions —including monster trucks — for all Canadians.