Peterson loses appeal in free speech battle 

Dr. Jordan Peterson has lost his free speech court battle against the College of Psychologists of Ontario (again). 

Peterson loses appeal in free speech battle 

An Ontario court dismissed his appeal as first reported by the National Post.

No statement from the court was provided. 

In August, the Ontario Divisional Court sided against Peterson after deliberating over his right to free speech versus the right of the Ontario College of Psychologists to regulate what licensed psychologists can say in public. 

Initially, the College requested Peterson’s voluntary participation to receive social media training in response to public complaints about his online conduct. Peterson declined. 

The College subsequently ordered Peterson to undergo the training, and mandated that he finance it. 

Peterson took the issue to court, arguing that his Charter right to freedom of expression had been violated.  

There are no further opportunities for Dr. Peterson to appeal the decision, making it final.

He will either be forced to undergo whatever social media training is required by the College, or he can refuse and risk having his clinical psychologist license stripped.

Peterson has previously said he will record whatever training he receives.

“I’ll comply with their regulations, but I’m not going to do it in secret… And the reason I’m not going to do it in secret is because I don’t believe I’ve done anything wrong,” he said in August 2023.

Who made the complaints? 

In January 2023, Peterson revealed all the College of Psychologists of Ontario’s complaints against him.

Anyone in the world is capable of making a complaint to the College of Psychologists of Ontario.

Peterson says none of the complaints came from his past or present patients or their acquaintances.

What were the complaints?

One complaint was for Peterson’s comments on The Joe Rogan podcast on Covid-19 vaccines. 

“He is operating outside the domain of expertise, using title as psychologist as a means of conveying information which is harmful to public,” read the complaint.

The same individual complained about Peterson’s social media usage “directed at the prime minister using language that is unprofessional and embarrassing to the profession,” while also saying an exchange Peterson had with former Trudeau advisor Gerald Butts was “threatening, abusive and harassing.” 

Another complaint states, “Peterson encouraged people to commit suicide on Twitter.” The complaint pertains to a response Peterson sent to someone claiming the world is overpopulated. 

“You’re free to leave anytime,” Peterson replied.

Another complaint took issue with Peterson for appearing “to call Catherine McKenney, an Ottawa City Councillor who uses they/them pronouns a ‘thing.’” 

More complaints are over alleged “hate speech” against transgender people. One such tweet saw Peterson’s Twitter account suspended indefinitely. It wasn’t restored until Elon Musk purchased Twitter.

In the tweet that got him suspended, Peterson addressed transgender actor Elliot Page, formerly known as Ellen Page. Peterson said Page “had her breasts removed by a criminal physician.” 

Several other complaints were over a tweet Peterson made where he criticized Sports Illustrated for giving a plus-sized woman the front cover.

“Sorry, not beautiful,” Peterson tweeted. “And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.” 

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