Dr. Jordan Peterson, a best-selling author and psychologist, has received a warning from the College of Psychologists of Ontario over his social media criticisms of the Canadian government.
The college, a government-regulated association that regulates and has the authority to sanction psychologists in the province of Ontario, has ordered Peterson to undergo "social media communications retraining" or face a hearing on the potential suspension of his medical license.
This action follows several complaints made against Peterson, who has 15 million followers on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.
The complaints allege that his social media posts and podcast appearances are transphobic, sexist, and racist, and include retweeting Conservative Party Leader Pierre Poilievre's criticism of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, blasting Trudeau's former senior aide, Gerald Butts, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, tweeting opposition to a plan by Ottawa police to take custody of the children of the Trucker Convoy protesters, and telling Joe Rogan's podcast audience that acceptance of radical gender theory is a sign of "civilizations collapsing" and that climate change models are unreliable.
In response to the College's action, Peterson has written a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, in which he vowed not to participate in the process and decried the effort to stifle free speech. He stated, "I simply cannot resign myself to the fact that in my lifetime I am required to resort to a public letter to the leader of my country to point out that political criticism has now become such a crime in Canada that if professionals dare engage in such activity, government-appointed commissars will threaten their livelihood and present them with the spectacle of denouncement and political disgrace.
“There is simply and utterly no excuse whatsoever for such a state of affairs in a free country,” he added.
This is not the first time that Peterson has faced complaints from the College. He claims that he has been hounded by the organization since 2017, when his viral video lectures made him an international figure.
He stated, "I was never investigated for anything for the 20 years I practiced prior to my emergence on the public scene," and attributed the investigations to his vocal opposition to a law that made it a crime not to use the preferred pronouns of transgender people. Because the College is obligated to probe any written complaint filed against a member, Peterson believes that he has been targeted by anonymous complaints.
On Wednesday, Peterson made a Twitter thread to detail the list of accusations made against him by the College.
Peterson's supporters have rallied to his defense, with some accusing the College of Psychologists of Ontario of attempting to silence him for his controversial views. They argue that his right to free speech and expression should be protected, even if his views are unpopular or offensive to some. However, others have criticized Peterson for his views, arguing that they are harmful and contribute to the marginalization of marginalized groups.
The situation involving Dr. Jordan Peterson and the College of Psychologists of Ontario highlights the ongoing debate over the limits of free speech and the role of professional organizations in regulating the behavior of their members.