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Late last year, the censorious governing body for psychologists in the Canadian province of Ontario ordered Dr. Jordan Peterson to undergo "re-education" training for having offended strangers online with his lawful opinions. Peterson fought the order in court, but a trio of judges ruled against him last week.
Despite losing this latest battle, Peterson has designs for winning the war.
What's the background?
A handful of thin-skinned individuals who were neither clients nor kin to clients of best-selling author and clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson filed complaints with the Canadian governing body that regulates his profession, the College of Psychologists of Ontario. Peterson had drawn their ire for expressing his opinions lawfully online.
TheBlaze previously reported that Peterson's offending speech included:
- criticism of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Trudeau's former chief of staff, Gerald Butts, who resigned amid the liberal leader's disgraceful and damning SNC Lavalin scandal;
- a suggestion that the doctor who cut off actress Elliot Page's healthy breasts was a "criminal physician"; and
- a retweet of a comment made by the leader of Canada's official opposition party regarding the unnecessary severity of COVID lockdowns.
After looking into the complaints, the CPO's inquiries, complaints, and reports committee — comprising persons Peterson has called "cowards" — concluded in November 2022 that the 61-year-old doctor's comments were "degrading, demeaning and unprofessional," adding that his conduct "poses moderate risks to the public" and runs the risk of "undermining public trust in the profession of psychology, and trust in the college's ability to regulate the profession in the public interest."
With the understanding that he had done nothing wrong and reiterating his unwillingness to apologize for criticizing the mutilation of mentally ill women, medical tyranny, or shady public officials, Peterson refused to undergo so-called social media training.
He stressed in an opinion piece for the National Post, "I’m not complying. I’m not submitting to re-education. I am not admitting that my viewpoints — many of which have, by the way, been entirely justified by the facts that have emerged since the complaints were levied — were either wrong or unprofessional."
Peterson ultimately took the CPO to court over its order, which he suggested had run afoul of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
A battle lost
Last week, a court upheld the regulator's order to undergo re-education training at his own expense. The court also ordered Peterson to pay his censors $25,000.
The Ontario Divisional Court stated the CPO's ruling "is not disciplinary and does not prevent Dr. Peterson from expressing himself on controversial topics; it has a minimal impact on his right to freedom of expression."
The panel of superior court judges — Paul Schabas, Nancy Backhouse, and John Krawchenko — appeared to agree that Peterson's free speech was subordinate to the sensitivities of the CPO committee and those thin-skinned strangers who had filed complaints from afar.
Moreover, the trio asserted that the CPO committee had "reasonably" concluded that "Dr. Peterson's behavior raised a moderate risk of harm to the public."
Carolyn Silver, chief legal officer for the CPO, gloated afterward, stating, "The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is pleased with the Court’s decision confirming that members of regulated health professions are expected to maintain high standards of conduct, which at times may result in some curtailment of their freedom of expression."
A global theater
Peterson told "Jesse Watters Primetime" Wednesday that he would comply with the order after all, but intimated he would seize upon the opportunity to serve as a Trojan horse carrying the eyes of the world into the struggle sessions.
"I'm going to do everything I can to make all of this as public as I possibly can," said Peterson. "I have done that from the beginning. I released all the documents that included the charges, so to speak, that the college has levied against me. I want to make this 100% transparent and let the public decide for themselves who exactly is acting, let's say, in an unprofessional capacity."
When pressed on how he intends to document the mandated attempts to re-engineer his thinking and conduct, Peterson indicated it's presently unclear what the law will allow. If possible, he will do so by filming. Failing that, he will alternatively capture the sessions by audio recording and/or "extensive notes and commentary afterward."
"Somehow, everything that happens is going to be made public. It is absolutely necessary," added Peterson.
The doctor once again made clear to Watters that he is not the slightest bit repentant for speaking what he regards as the truth, even in the capacity that would fall under the CPO's purview.
"I'm perfectly willing to state that I am stating my opinions on Twitter and social media in my professional capacity," stressed Peterson. "So, for example, the comments I made about Ellen Page, you know, I'm not the least bit happy about what the sadistic surgeon butchers are doing to minors, and I'm also not very happy about narcissistic, let's say, celebrities parading off their new, surgically enhanced body and enticing young women, for example, into becoming sterilized and butchered, so I think I have a professional obligation like all therapists and all physicians to say very clearly that this is 100% absolutely not acceptable."
Speaking more broadly to the fast disintegration of freedom of expression in his native country, Peterson said, "What we're seeing in Canada is an unraveling of all the principles upon which my country and yours are predicated, and that's part of the ideological possession that's swept over Canada in particular. I mean, it's certainly threatening you characters down in the United States, but we're farther along that road given that we're run by the poster boy for political correctness himself [Justin Trudeau]."
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Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.