In a recent announcement from the Divisional Court in Ontario, renowned psychologist and author Dr. Jordan Peterson failed in his bid to challenge a directive that requires him to undergo remedial training. This decision comes after several contentious remarks made by Peterson on various social media platforms, prompting the College of Psychologists of Ontario to intervene.
The ruling by the three-judge panel from the Divisional Court affirms the College of Psychologists of Ontario's mandate for Peterson to enroll in a course focusing on professionalism in communications. This decision stems from numerous grievances filed against Peterson for his online remarks, notably his criticism of feminism and debates surrounding racial diversity.
While the Divisional Court's ruling is viewed by some as an infringement on Peterson's freedom of expression, the court argued that the impact on his rights was relatively minimal. They believe that the college's resolution was proportionate, given the gravity of the complaints.
Responding to the verdict, Peterson, who boasts a significant online presence on platform X, articulated his dissatisfaction, stating, "If you think that you have a right to free speech in Canada, you're delusional." He further promised transparency on the matter, vowing to make every facet of the issue public.
Jordan Peterson Challenges Remedial Directive
The controversy began last November when the college directed Peterson, who stopped practicing in 2017, to take remedial training. They deemed several of his online statements as "degrading, demeaning, and unprofessional." Not in agreement, Peterson decided to bypass the directive and instead sought its annulment through the Divisional Court in June.
Revealing their 17-page decision this Wednesday, the Superior Court judges dismissed Peterson's appeal, reasoning that it was appropriate to offer coaching, especially as Peterson had earlier ignored the college's counsel to maintain a more measured and respectful tone in his public comments.
Justice Paul Schabas, one of the panel judges, commented on the case, asserting, "Dr. Peterson cannot have it both ways: he cannot speak as a member of a regulated profession without acknowledging the possible repercussions stemming from that trusted capacity." He added that members of regulated professions must still uphold public trust, irrespective of their 'on' or 'off' professional duty, through responsible statements and conduct.