The Ledge: Church and state in Alberta politics

Modern democracies are supposed to have a separation between church and state. But in Alberta, organized religion plays a role in schools and health-care delivery.

Kim Trynacity and Michelle Bellefontaine look at the past week in Alberta politics

The Ledge is CBC's podcast about Alberta politics. (CBC)

Modern democracies are supposed to have a separation between church and state. But in Alberta, organized religion plays a role in schools and health-care delivery.

It's there that traditional values clash with modern views on gender, sexual orientation and medically assisted dying.

This week on The Ledge podcast, Michelle Bellefontaine and Kim Trynacity look at three examples where church and state clashed this week in Alberta politics.

Education Minister David Eggen set a July 30 deadline for 28 faith-based schools to comply with the government's gay-straight alliance law or face consequences — a cut to the public funding that makes up 70 per cent of their budgets.

CBC reporters Michelle Bellefontaine and Kim Trynacity discuss how church and state clashed this week in Alberta politics. And John Carpay's comparison of the Pride flag to the Nazi swastika forces the UCP to deal with questions about party membership. 22:54

While Eggen played hardball with schools, the Alberta government remained non-committal its dealings with Covenant Health, the Catholic organization that runs hospitals and long-term care homes in Alberta.

In a series of stories, CBC investigative reporter Jennie Russell revealed how Covenant Health forced terminally ill patients outside the facility and onto the street to conduct discussions about medically assisted dying, a procedure that has been legal in Canada since 2016.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman could force Covenant Health to follow the law, but she has been silent about what, if anything, she plans to do.

Michelle and Kim also talk about John Carpay's comparison of the Pride flag to the Nazi swastika, and how UCP leader Jason Kenney has had to tap dance around the issue of the Calgary lawyer's membership in his party.