Dr. Jordan Peterson is well-known for his work as a clinical psychologist in addition to his work as a professor, popular author, and cultural critic.
In response to complaints regarding some of Peterson’s publicly expressed opinions unrelated to the profession of psychology made by strangers rather than clients, Peterson’s home province of Ontario’s licensing board for psychologists at the end of last year required him to participate in mandatory training for the media at his own cost.
Peterson, who no longer maintains a clinical practice but still intends to keep his clinical license, chose to sue the College of Psychologists of Ontario, arguing that its order violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, instead of choosing to submit to the procrustean retraining plan.
The court’s verdict in the case, which might have significant ramifications, now looks to be forthcoming.
“The final results of this case could impact the basic rights of approximately 400,000 professionals across all 29 regulated medical professions in Ontario,” according to Jonah Arnold from the Association of Aggrieved Controlled Professionals in Ontario, a charitable advocacy group that represents professionals that have been treated unfairly by their regulators. “Even other professionals like teachers, accountants, and attorneys might be impacted.”
Peterson sues the university in court
Peterson said in a National Post article from January 4 that accepting the CPO committee’s retraining order would require him to acknowledge his lack of professionalism and have it recorded in public.
“I’m not obedient. I’m not agreeing to go through reeducation. I’m not conceding that my opinions were incorrect or unprofessional; in fact, many of them have been amply supported by the facts that have come to light after the complaints were made,” he said.
“I serviced all of my clients and the millions of individuals I am speaking with to the utmost of my ability while acting in good faith, and that’s that. I haven’t done anything to compromise those who are under my care.”
“The easiest method to contest the college’s ruling would be in court upon constitutional grounds,” Peterson stated to the Toronto Sun. “Nobody should have faith in the College’s procedure, including me.”
The psychologist asked the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to reconsider the committee’s decision in a petition.