So. Zombies. Need I say more? Yes, unfortunately, I really do need to say more, especially considering a recent debate in the Canadian House of Commons in regards to the zombie apocalypse.
You may think I am joking, and, to be quite honest, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking so. But this isn’t a joke.
This whole zombie nonsense started in Québec. During an annual symposium to be held Feb. 19–21 on civil security, there will be a workshop on how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Popular culture, I suppose, has brought to the governments’ eyes the idea of a zombie apocalypse—and apparently it is being taken seriously.
Québec is not the first governmental body to see zombies as a threat to civil security. In the U.S., the Center For Disease Control has a graphic novel on its website dubbed “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic.” Denis Landry, director of disaster recovery with the Québec civil security department, says in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, “Just about every U.S. state has adopted this kind of exercise, whether it be workshops or simulations.”
Even our own wonderful, beautiful province jumped onto this bandwagon before Québec. Last May, B.C. conducted a similar exercise to what was planned in Québec, which offered tips on how to prepare for and fend off a zombie apocalypse.
The Québec government has since decided to not hold the training exercise, possibly because of what happened on Feb. 13 in the Canadian House of Commons.
During question period on Feb. 13, NDP parliamentary member Pat Martin voiced concerns over zombies:
“I rise today to salute the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and the Province of Québec for putting in place emergency measures for dealing with the possibility of an invasion of zombies. Now, I don’t need to tell you, Mister 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 it’s not contained. So, on behalf of concerned Canadians everywhere, Mister Speaker, I want to ask the Minister for 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?”
In reply, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird assured Canadians that the House of Commons is a zombie-free zone. “I am dead-icated to ensuring this never happens,” Baird says.
There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of humour in the House of Commons. It is a place where child-like antics and pointless arguments ensue on a daily basis. So, I guess a little humour can’t hurt, right?
Maybe so. But, I feel a little differently. These politicians are supposed to be discussing matters that are important and relevant to the Canadian people. Discussing a hypothetical, almost entirely fictional possibility is…well, to put it bluntly, moronic. Sure, be prepared. Good. I’ll be glad that my government has put in place a defense procedure should zombies ever rise form their graves and storm across North America. But at some point people have to stop and ask: “Wait a minute, this is what my tax dollars are going towards? Is this what I elected these officials to discuss?”
I sincerely hope that the answers you come up with to those questions are: “No!” I would rather they talked about improving education, lessening crime, or anything else more important than zombies. Zombies are a discussion for pop culture aficionados, not politicians. Members of the literati could embark upon a meaningful, in-depth discussion about the differences between types of zombies, or the characterization of zombies, or the tropes associated with zombies. Hell, even your average everyday people could discuss zombies or come up with a plan for how to survive in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
I mean, I have my own plan on how to survive such events. You know what I don’t have, but could see myself needing—something that I can’t do on my own but my government could do for me—is a plan in case of an earthquake or a tsunami or a landslide or even an invasion. Those are important matters that require defense platforms. Hell, even how to survive a fierce winter storm that cuts off power for several days or weeks would be more useful than discussing zombies.
I am blown away by the Canadian government’s silliness. But then again, Pierre Trudeaux danced behind the Queen. Maybe Canada is just a silly place sometimes. If that’s the case, then I would like to give my thanks to the Canadian government for making me laugh heartily and forget about the heavy woes of the world.