Jordan Peterson Ordered by Canadian Court to Undergo Reeducation

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Wednesday, Dr. Jordan Peterson lost a court battle against the College of Psychologists of Ontario. The case centered on Peterson’s comments on Twitter/X and during personal appearances. The case was heard by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court.


The decision stated that the college had been receiving complaints about Peterson’s remarks since 2018. Those included formal complaints and those aired via Twitter. Many of the issues were regarding race, transgenderism, overpopulation, and COVID-19. Peterson was represented by the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), which stated that Peterson has maintained that his comments did not pertain to the practice of psychology. According to the decision, Peterson requested that there be a judicial review of the college’s Decision of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee  (ICRC), which had requested that Peterson undergo a Specified Continuing Education and Remediation Program (SCERP).

From the ruling:

The ICRC’s order followed an investigation into language used by Dr. Peterson in public statements earlier in 2022. In its Decision, the ICRC expressed its concern that Dr. Peterson’s comments may be “degrading, demeaning and unprofessional.” The ICRC concluded that some of the language used in Dr. Peterson’s public statements “may be reasonably regarded by members of the profession as disgraceful, dishonourable and/or unprofessional” and posed “moderate risks of harm to the public.” The risks of harm identified by the ICRC included “undermining public trust in the profession of psychology” and “may also raise questions about Dr. Peterson’s ability to appropriately carry out his responsibilities as a registered psychologist.”


Despite the fact that the CCF and Peterson assert that his comments were made “off the clock,” the court ruled that he must take the SCERP training “to address his professionalism in public statements.”

Related: The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon

What did Peterson say to invoke the ire of the college? The ruling mentioned the following comments.

  • Peterson responded to a July 2, 2022, tweet by someone worried about overpopulation that they were “free to leave at any time.”
  • Comments made during a January 25, 2022, appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience.” The document states that Peterson was identified as a clinical psychologist and talked about a “vindictive client” whose complaint he described as a “pack of lies.” On the topic of the correlation between air pollution and childhood deaths, Peterson was accused of saying, “It’s just poor children, and the world has too many people on it anyways.”
  • A February 7, 2022, tweet in which he called former Trudeau advisor Gerald Butts “a prik.” (sic)
  • A tweet on the 19th of that month regarding Ottawa City Councillor Catherine McKenney. McKenney uses they/them pronouns, and Peterson referred to her as an “appalling self-righteous moralizing thing.”
  • In June of 2022, Peterson tweeted, “Remember when pride was a sin? And Ellen Page just had her breasts removed by a criminal physician.”
  • In May of that year, Peterson aired his opinion of the Sports Illustrated plus-sized cover model. He commented, “Sorry. Not Beautiful. And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.”

Following the ruling, Peterson swiftly took to Twitter/X with his response:

CCF Litigation Director Christine Van Geyn stated:

We are disappointed in this result, which we think could have a chilling effect on people in other regulated professions, like doctors, lawyers, teachers and accountants. Professionals should not have to soft pedal their speech for fear that activists will weaponize regulatory bodies so that unpopular speech is penalized, even when there is no connection between that speech and the profession. We hope that Dr Peterson will appeal this result, which will have long lasting impacts beyond his case. The right to freedom of expression must be given more weight than the court gave it here, and the mere assertion of risk of harm is not enough. While controversial and inflammatory, there is no suggestion that any of the people Dr Peterson made comments about were harmed in any way, and indeed, they were not the source of the complaints. Complaints were made by members of the public who simply did not like what Dr Peterson said, or worse, how he said it. This is not a sufficient basis for action by the regulator when weighed against Dr Peterson’s constitutional right to freedom of expression. (sic)


Admittedly, Peterson’s remark about poor kids and air quality is an eyebrow-raiser. But since I did not see the show, I have no way of knowing if that comment was taken out of context. And even if it was not, free speech is not always pretty. And, it is common knowledge that any random person on the Left could make remarks equally if not more objectionable than anything Peterson might have said and find themselves nominated for a Nobel Prize. Or an honorary doctorate. I’ll bet some of those people will be in charge of Peterson’s “re-education.”


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