Jordan Peterson claims his free speech is under threat - in national newspaper essay

Jordan Peterson claims his free speech is under threat - in national newspaper essay
Court orders Jordan Peterson to get social media training
CBC - Canadian National News / VideoElephant

Another day passes, and controversial right-wing commentators still fail to recognise that you can’t really pen a 2,300-word essay for The Telegraph claiming your right to freedom of speech is under threat – sorry, Jordan Peterson.

The Canadian psychologist - who has previously whinged about the Latin-derived prefix ‘cis’ and paper towel dispensers (yes, really), and last week incorrectly claimed MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan is “Caucasian” – is trying to reignite his row with the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

As a reminder, back in January he penned a lengthy thread on Twitter (now rebranded to X, of course) claiming he was facing the risk of “public disgrace, mandatory political re-education, [a] disciplinary hearing and potential loss of my clinical licencing” as a result of “agreeing with [Canadian opposition leader] Pierre Poilievre and criticizing our standing PM Justin Trudeau”.

The Canadian Superior Court of Justice’s judicial review ruling in August on the issue goes further, and notes the College’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) investigated public statements from Dr Peterson it was concerned may be “degrading, demeaning and unprofessional”.

Comments listed as being of concern include referring to a non-binary Ottawa city councillor as an “appalling self-righteous moralizing thing”, deadnaming trans actor Elliot Page, and remarks made about air pollution and child deaths on the Joe Rogan Experience in which he said: “It’s just poor children, and the world has too many people on it anyways.”

It adds the ICRC concluded his comments “may be reasonably regarded by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable and/or unprofessional”, posed “moderate risks of harm to the public”, risked “undermining public trust in the profession of psychology” and “may also raise questions about Dr Peterson’s ability to appropriately carry out his responsibilities as a registered psychologist”.

Well, if he’s even interested in carrying out those duties, as the same 23 August ruling also contains the fact that despite Dr Peterson being so concerned about potentially losing his licence to practise as a clinical psychologist, he stopped seeing patients in 2017 and “no longer has a clinical practice”.

On his member page on the College’s website, it notes that a November 2022 decision requires Dr Peterson to complete what’s known as a “Specified Continuing Education or Remedial Program” or SCERP to “address issues regarding professionalism in public statements”.

The political commentator has refused to take part in the coaching programme, and the August ruling saw him fail to get the court to overturn the order.

And so, he’s legged it to the Daily Telegraph to write a lengthy essay about how his free speech is under threat, because having a platform in a mainstream UK newspaper certainly suggests you are being denied the right to air your opinions out loud.

He writes: “Yes, I am at risk of losing my licence to practice as a mental health professional because of the complaints of a tiny number of people about the utterly unproven ‘harm’ done by my political opinions.

“Every single opinion was a political or psychological statement; every one devoid of genuinely documentable “harm”– except perhaps to the tender sensibility of certain Canadian moralists in whose mouths butter wouldn’t melt, in a country of fatal niceness and complacency.”

In questioning what “harm” he has caused and listing the tweets involved in the investigation, Dr Peterson misgendered Elliot Page.

Denying a person’s transgender identity is pretty harmful, Jordan!

The totally normal rant also sees him take aim at Mr Trudeau’s government, calling on Canadians to “wake up to the fact that the right to freedom of speech in Canada is subject to limitations placed by any level of government, for any reason”.

In the final paragraphs, Dr Peterson confirmed he has instructed lawyers to tell the College to proceed with their disciplinary hearing as a result of his not taking the SCERP, and that he will “fight this idiocy all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary”.

“Regardless of the outcome, I have made arrangements with other jurisdictions – Canadian and elsewhere – to re-establish my licence, in a heartbeat, if the authorities in Ontario success in purloining it from me,” he added.

We read the whole of his nonsensical piece so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

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