Written by Jack Elbaum
What’s happening: After clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson made a series of controversial comments, the College of Psychologists of Ontario ordered him to complete a “coaching program” that will lead him to “review, reflect on and ameliorate [his] professionalism in public statements.” The Canadian could lose his practicing license if he doesn’t comply.
- What’d he say? Peterson criticized the Canadian government’s totalitarian tendencies when it comes to stomping protests and COVID mandates, calling one secretary a “pr*k.” He also used biological pronouns when denouncing a transgender actor’s “pride,” described an overweight model as “not beautiful,” and disapproves of climate alarmism.
Canada’s courts: Despite filing for judicial review, the Ontario Divisional Court ruled against Peterson, saying that he still must undergo “re-education” training.
His response: Peterson says the court’s decision confirms that there is no “right to free speech in Canada.” It appears he will take the course to keep his license, though he vows to “make all of this as public as I possibly can” to expose any coercion to free thought.
Why it matters: It’s a case study of how academic and medical associations have let politics become a guiding force. As The Wall Street Journal notes, “Professional bodies are supposed to ensure that practitioners are competent, not enforce political orthodoxies or act as language police outside the office. But that’s the trend in Western medical associations and beyond.”