Canada’s Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre has defended clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson’s right to free speech. Peterson is facing re-education from the licensing board over his social media posts and risks losing his license if he doesn’t comply.
“Now, it should go without saying that in a free country, a professional should not lose their jobs and licenses because they express a political opinion contrary to the licensing body that’s mandated by the government,” Poilievre said in the video.
“But of course, in saying this, my liberal critics in the media will, of course, say, ‘Well, Poilievre agrees with freedom of speech from someone like Dr. Peterson therefore he must endorse everything Dr. Peterson has ever said.’ Well, of course not. I don’t endorse 100% of everything anyone has ever said.”
“I’m sure there is something he’s posted that I do object to,” Poilievre continued.
“But that is not the point because freedom of speech only matters when you disagree. I mean, if we all agreed, we wouldn’t need freedom of speech because no one has ever tried to censor someone for saying something that they agree with. It is only when there is a disagreement that it matters.”
“And that’s what distinguishes Canada, a free country, from dictatorships,” he added.
His comments came after the Ontario College of Psychologists told Peterson he has to undergo retraining on social media etiquette or lose his license. The licensing board said there were a number of complaints filed against Peterson over his social media activity, including a retweet of Poilievre’s post and another tweet criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
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