Dr. Peterson was attacked for defending free speech, and Trudeau's 'online harms' bill would punish him further

'Complaints can be filed by literally anyone,' said Rebel News Publisher Ezra Levant. 'You don't need to have standing; you don't need to have been mentioned by Prof. Peterson. You just have to want to deploy the bureaucracy against him.'

Dr. Peterson was attacked for defending free speech, and Trudeau's 'online harms' bill would punish him further
Facebook/ Dr Jordan B Peterson
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The Liberals' 'online harms' bill will leave no stone unturned in their quest to censor dissenting thoughts. Case in point: Dr. Jordan Peterson.

The Ontario Court of Appeals ruled against the former psychologist last month, giving him an ultimatum: take part in remedial social media training or never renew your practice.

The College of Psychologists of Ontario argued for nearly two years that Dr. Peterson made 'inappropriate' public statements on social media, even though they did not relate to the practice of psychology. Those statements related to his opinion on politics, public figures, the Freedom Convoy and ‘climate change.’

"My contention that the trans phenomenon is the social contagion, that’s a professional opinion," wrote the former psychologist. "It’s not a political stance."

"My belief that the climate apocalypse narrative is overblown by people who want to use emergencies to gather power," he continues. "There’s no shortage of evidence on that front."

Dr. Peterson contends those comments did not contravene Canadian law. But they will now, should Bill C-63 pass.

On Monday, the Trudeau Liberals tabled An Act to enact the Online Harms Act to protect Canadians from accessing 'harmful content' online.

"It enhances free expression by empowering all people to safely participate in online debate," said Justice Minister Arif Virani.

Yet briefing documents say the law will "better address and denounce hate propaganda” by proposing several amendments to the Criminal Code and adding a definition of "hatred" to section 319 of the Criminal Code. It did not define harmful content.

The draconian censorship law will also amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to clarify that online 'hate speech' is discrimination and empower people to file complaints. It permits confidential complaints if the Commission thinks the individual(s) might be subjected to "intimidation."

According to Rebel News Publisher Ezra Levant, the anonymous complaints could originate from anywhere, and remain unknown even to the accused.

“It could be the government, or someone paid by the government, filing complaints; it could be a political or academic rival; it could be a disgruntled neighbour!” said Levant in a post to X, formerly Twitter.

“The certainty of this happening is 100% — it already has been happening on a small scale,” he added.

In January 2023, Dr. Peterson posted a document detailing the complaints against him. According to the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), the complaints came from the public rather than the psychologist's former patients.

"I express views that are reflective of the state of the current psychological literature," he said, "that have been politicized by those who politicized everything."

“Complaints can be filed by literally anyone,” reiterates Levant. “You don't need to have standing, you don't need to have been mentioned by Prof. Peterson. You just have to want to deploy the bureaucracy against him.”

It “would allow literally anyone to take him to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for every tweet or YouTube video he publishes, not just in the future, but anything he's done historically that's still available online.”

“Each complaint is free to file,” he clarifies. “It's not like a civil lawsuit where you have to hire a lawyer and pay a filing fee, etc. — the government helps you if you need it.”

According to Bill C-63, victims of 'hate speech' could be compensated up to $20,000, with stand-alone hate crimes being added to the Criminal Code. The federal government would be owed an additional $50,000.

Those who engage in 'hate speech' could face life imprisonment, or face house arrest with an ankle bracelet.

“It's the Trump treatment,” contends Levant. “Overwhelm the target with endless nuisance suits that take time and money to fight,” he adds.

“Even if the complaints are dismissed, you're still at a loss. And if literally hundreds of complaints are filed against someone like Prof. Peterson, even if only 5% are upheld, that's economically devastating.”

To that effect, Dr. Peterson worries his case may "embolden" the already "tyrannical regulatory boards."

"When individuals join a regulated profession … they take on obligations and must abide by the rules of their regulatory body that may limit their freedom of expression," reads the 18-page court decision regarding the former psychologist.

"Requiring coaching following apparently unheeded advice seems a reasonable next step, proportionately balancing statutory objectives against Charter rights which are minimally impaired, if they are impaired at all," it said. 

Dr. Peterson maintains he has the right to have a political opinion. “And I have a right to express it and we can’t have a society where educated professionals are not allowed to have political opinions," he said.

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