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Alberta’s education minister says private schools could lose funding if they resist the gay-straight alliance law

The gay-straight alliances support groups are created by students to make LGBT students feel welcome

By Steve Brown

Alberta’s education minister says private schools will adopt provincial laws on gay-straight alliances.

David Eggen has given 61 private schools an October deadline to comply with the law and those who resist are likely to lose their public funding by the end of the academic year, CTV News reported.

Eggen said: “That number is coming down. People are working very collaboratively with us.

“If they’re having trouble with it, I have a policy that they can use.”

By law, all schools – including Catholic, francophone, charter and private and public schools in Alberta – must approve a student’s request to start a gay-straight alliance support group and staff are not allowed to tell parents if their child joins.

The support groups are set up by students to help LGBT+ students feel more accepted and attempts to reduce bullying or abuse.

However, the law has been met with criticism from the opposition United Conservatives party who claim the rights of parents cannot be pushed to the side.

Leader Jason Kenney said Eggen is behaving like an “education czar” but Eggen dismissed the criticism and said there is still a lot of work to do.

“We run an education program here in the province which is ambitious,” Eggen added.

“There was a lot of work to do because the former (Progressive Conservative) government didn’t do anything really over the last number of years except have leadership races and fight with other.

“If (Kenney) wants to make fun of that, call names, then that’s his business.”