Nova Scotia

School cake walks are okay: Jennex

The Nova Scotia government now says cakes are allowed at school fundraisers, blaming a "miscommunication" for the earlier prohibition on the sweets.

Education minister says ban was a miscommunication

The Nova Scotia government says sugary treats are allowed at fundraisers. (CBC)

The Nova Scotia government says cakes are allowed at school fundraisers, blaming a "miscommunication" for the earlier prohibition on the sweets.

In May, the Departments of Health and Education sent out a memo reminding parents that unhealthy foods — including some cakes and cotton candy — are not permitted at fundraisers.

"Cake walks can include cakes of moderate or maximum nutrition," the government memo said.

On Sunday, Education Minister Ramona Jennex said the problems of obesity and diabetes must be tackled head-on. She said Nova Scotia's school boards are recognized as leaders in nutrition policy.

But on Wednesday, she said cakes were allowed at certain events.

"The food policy very clearly states: 'Spring flings and fun fairs are considered special functions; you can have food of minimal nutrition,'" she said.

"There was obviously some miscommunication. I wasn't aware of that memo. I had to find out what happened there. The interpretation contradicts our food policy."

Jennex said someone had mixed up the fundraising policy with the food policy.

The minister discusses the policy in more depth in the attached interview from CBC Radio's Maritime Noon.

"It's incumbent upon us as parents and educators and as the general public to make sure that our children do have healthy choices at school," she said. "It's balance."

Memo caused backlash

Some parents reacted angrily when the Department of Education reminded schools that foods with low nutritional value were banned from schools.

They said fundraising was even more important after cuts were announced in schools across the province.