Canadian court orders that conservative shrink undergo re-education at his own expense

Canadian court orders that conservative shrink undergo re-education at his own expense

“In Canada, you can now lose your medical license for calling a government official a ‘prick’, saying a plus-sized model is ‘not beautiful,’ and misgendering a nonbinary actor,” notes Aaron Sibarium of the Washington Free Beacon.

“A Canadian court ruled against psychologist and best-selling author Jordan Peterson, upholding a regulatory body’s order that he needs to undergo social media re-education or face losing his license to practice,” reports Townhall:

The three Ontario Divisional Court judges unanimously sided with the College of Psychologists of Ontario in a November 2022 case relating to his allegedly controversial online statements.

Justice Paul Schabas said the CPO order that Peterson take a program on professionalism in public statements “is not disciplinary and does not prevent Dr. Peterson from expressing himself on controversial topics.”

Peterson said his comments were “off-duty opinions” and not made in his professional capacity, an argument that was rejected.

“Dr. Peterson sees himself functioning as a clinical psychologist ‘in the broad public space’ where he claims to be helping ‘millions of people,'” Schabas wrote. “Peterson cannot have it both ways: he cannot speak as a member of a regulated profession without taking responsibility for the risk of harm that flows from him speaking in that trusted capacity.”

Specific complaints listed in the case before the divisional court included posts directed at Canadian politicians, a plus-sized Sports Illustrated model and transgender actor Elliot Page….The college’s ethics code requires members to use respectful language and not engage in “unjust discrimination.”

The complaints committee concluded that some of Peterson’s comments posed “moderate risks of harm to the public”….It then ordered the social media coaching program at Peterson’s expense, emphasizing that failure to comply could result in an allegation of professional misconduct.

Peterson filed for a judicial review, arguing his political commentary is not under the college’s purview and that the college failed to balance its mandate with his right to freedom of expression.

The case was watched closely by free speech advocates and regulators in other professions. It featured interveners including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and LGBTQ+ advocacy group Egale Canada.

Schabas said the college pursued a reasonable option by ordering the remedial coaching, which both maintained its professional standards while having minimal impact on Peterson’s constitutional free speech rights.

“The panel concluded, reasonably, that Dr. Peterson’s behaviour raised a moderate risk of harm to the public,” Schabas wrote.

Peterson criticized the ruling on X, the web site formerly known as Twitter, saying “If you think that you have a right to free speech in Canada You’re delusional….The judges are progressives appointed by [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau and all professionals in Canada are so terrified of their ‘professional’ regulatory bodies that they are terrified into silence And even those who aren’t intimidated in that manner can’t afford the extremely expensive and endless fight….The courts are captured by the woke ideologues.”

The Canadian Constitutional Foundation condemned the ruling, saying that, “Unless the decision is overturned, this case could have a chilling effect on people in other regulated professions, like doctors, lawyers, teachers and accountants. Professionals should not have to soft pedal their speech for fear that activists will weaponize regulatory bodies so that unpopular speech or an unpleasant tone is penalized, even when there is no connection between that speech and the profession.”

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.

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