Paul Tukey is the executive producer of A Chemical Reaction, a film hown at the Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre yesterday.

When Paul Tukey was young, his grandmother ate dandelions.

“She called them a good mess of greens … and now we put toxic poison on them,” said the American journalist and lawn-care professional, who was in Edmonton yesterday for the city premiere of his movie, A Chemical Reaction.

The 2008 flick tells the story of Hudson, Que., the first municipality in Canada to ban the use of non-essential pesticides in 1991.

Twenty years later, 80 per cent of Canadians are now protected by similar bans, said Sarah Hawkins of the Canadian Cancer Society.

“Albertans are the last holdouts,” she said. “(But) the issue is gaining more attention in Edmonton.”

A council committee discussed the validity of such a bylaw in February, in the end wanting information on other cities with the ban, which could take six months to gather.

Tukey said that the idea tends to be controversial but that a pesticide ban is for esthetic chemicals, not to “take away farmers’ tools.”

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