Councillors in Moncton, N.B., vote to restore menorah outside city hall after outcry

MONCTON, N.B. — City councillors in Moncton, N.B., have reversed a decision that would have ended a 20-year tradition of lighting a Hanukkah menorah in front of city hall.

The council voted unanimously this afternoon to restore the menorah and a Christian nativity scene after their decision last week to scrap the religious symbols prompted an outcry.

Earlier in the day, Mayor Dawn Arnold apologized for the decision and said council had acted too quickly.

The council also voted to have a social inclusion committee consult with religious groups to determine how faith symbols should be exhibited, with a policy to be adopted by Aug. 31, 2024.

Moncton city council last week decided against having the annual menorah-lighting ceremony when the Jewish holiday begins Thursday.

Lawyer Leigh Lampert, a member of the Moncton synagogue’s board of directors, welcomed the reversal and said everyone should be able to celebrate their faith in a multicultural society.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2023.

The Canadian Press