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Canadian Court Orders Jordan Peterson to Reeducation Camp

Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist who is now Chancellor of Ralston College in Savannah, Georgia, is Canada’s most popular public intellectual with lectures and podcasts that reach millions of people with a message supporting classical Western learning and emotional self-reliance. He has four million Twitter followers.

But his views have earned him the enmity of Canada’s “woke” College of Psychologists, which decided to try to regulate his personal beliefs, even though they had nothing to with his profession. They ordered him to take a “coaching program” at his own expense to “reflect on, and ameliorate his professionalism in public statements.” Otherwise, he would face a charge of unprofessional conduct and could potentially lose his license.

In response, Peterson acknowledged he could improve his language and promised to consult personal advisors to improve it. But he refused any Orwellian “reeducation” camp. “Social media is the modern town square,” his lawyers argued in a court challenge to the mandated coaching. “Vigorous debate in these forums is essential to the healthy functioning of democracy.”

But Canada lacks a vigorous First Amendment protecting free speech and this week an Ontario court dismissed both Peterson’s claim and counteroffer and ordered to pay $25,000 in court costs. The court ruled he must take “responsibility for the risk of harm that flows from him speaking in (his) trusted capacity” even though he hasn’t worked as a psychologist for the last six years.

Among the offensive tweets that spurred Peterson’s colleagues to sanction him was one about a plus-size model on the cover of a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover: “Sorry. Not Beautiful. And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.” He was also guilty of calling an Ontario local official an “appalling self-righteous moralizing thing.”

The court — in our opinion — could be describing its own ruling in the Peterson case. Peterson promises to appeal.

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