Canada is suffering a zombie invasion, but only of the verbal kind.

Thursday in the House of Commons, Canada’s lower house, Winnipeg representative Pat Martin asked Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird if he was working with the United States to prepare for an eventual zombie apocalypse.

Serious question? Not exactly. The exchange was a playful jab at zombie-themed emergency prep in Quebec and the United States. The Center for Disease Control publishesda graphic novel called “Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic,” promoting the virtues of emergency kits. In Quebec, the Toronto Star reported, a “mock zombie invasion” was also the premise of a recent disaster-planning exercise.

“I don’t need to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that zombies don’t recognize borders,” Martin joked. “A zombie invasion in the United States could easily turn into a continent-wide pandemic if it’s not contained.”

In case anyone’s seriously worried about that prospect, Baird assured the House of Commons that Canada would “never become a safe haven for zombies.”

“I want to assure this member and all Canadians that I am dead-icated to ensuring that this never happens,” Baird said, to roars of laughter from the gallery.