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Thomas Lukaszuk speaks during the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership forum in Edmonton, Alberta on Thursday Aug. 21, 2014.

JASON FRANSON/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A former Tory education minister says Alberta's NDP government should order school boards, including the Catholic system, to adopt a policy that protects LGBTQ students if they won't do it voluntarily.

Thomas Lukaszuk says the government would take some flak, but it would be in the best interest of students.

He says it would be a better move than disbanding school boards that refuse to fall in line.

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Education Minister David Eggen has given school boards until the end of March to draft policies that protect these students from discrimination.

Some Catholic leaders and school trustees oppose the idea for religious reasons, arguing all students are already protected.

Lukaszuk was a Catholic school teacher in Edmonton before he was elected as a Progressive Conservative, at one point serving as education minister.

He was defeated in the provincial election last year.

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