02/08/2016 03:16 EST | Updated 02/08/2016 03:59 EST

David Eggen Has 'Frank' Talk With Bishops On LGBTQ Policy

Friends of Medicare Executive Director David Eggen at the 2011 Speech from the Throne. February 22, 2011.

EDMONTON — Alberta's education minister has met with some of the bishops who have sharply criticized proposed guidelines to help transgender students in schools.

David Eggen says he had a "frank conversation'' with Calgary Bishop Fred Henry.

Henry has called the province "totalitarian'' pursuing what he calls "narrow-minded anti-Catholic ideology.''

The government guidelines are to help all Alberta schools as they draft new policies to protect LGBTQ students.

The guidelines state that students should be allowed to use washrooms and join sports teams based on their sexuality or on whether they perceive themselves to be male or female.

Eggen says the meeting with the bishops, including Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, has helped him to understand the church's position.

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