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Commentary

The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon Continues

Tue, June 11, 2019   |   Author: Peter Vogel   |   Volume 26    Issue 23   

How did Dr. Jordan Peterson become a household name? Very simply, he spoke out about the truth, against a lie — and then he dug in his heels and said he would be willing to go to jail rather than say things he did not believe!

He showed some good old-fashioned Canadian courage, and is now one of the most famous Canadians in the world.

But the success of his stand cannot simply be measured in the crowds that he draws — many people with ridiculous ideas can draw a crowd — but it can be seen in the uptake of his example.

Originally, Dr. Peterson was talking about reverse-censorship, forced speech, but freedom of speech itself is taking a beating in Parliament these days and censorship is reaching new heights.

Let’s look at three recent examples:

  1. Our Government discussing a list of “reliable” news outlets. Some journalists are rightly alarmed by the prospect of approved news sources plus the threat of “meaningful financial consequences” for those who spread “fake news”. The rest are either naive or willing to seek approval, no matter what stories they will have to hide or whitewash. Will “safe news” be the new catchphrase? Does it not have significant potential to become the new fake news? Next time you see a major publication publish a scathing criticism of the government, be particularly thankful for the journalist and the publisher; it will take more guts to criticize in the future if this trend continues.
  2. One MP speaking out in a committee (on online hate speech) and reading a name and writings from a killer; words that were later expunged. MP Michael Cooper actually used the written words of the Christchurch, NZ, mosque shooter to prove to a witness that Brenton Tarrant was not a right-wing extremist, but actually admired China’s system. The committee took exception to his approach, which is not uncommon — disagreements can and should occur — but future generations will not be able to learn from this because the committee later voted to erase his comments from the record. They erased history!
  3. Three free speech advocates were not even given a respectful welcome before a panel of the Justice Committee; this example connects to the last one in that the vote to erase MP Cooper’s comments had just happened before they testified. John Robson gave a particularly compelling and coherent defence of freedom of speech, Mark Steyn spoke out against a return to hate speech tribunals, and Lindsay Shepherd made an important point that we don’t have a responsibility to condemn everyone who we believe did something evil; silence does not equate approval. Collectively, they did their best to preserve freedom of speech for the next generation.

History should not look kindly on those who try to erase spoken words from the record. This is now the situation for the Justice Committee — they erased MP Cooper’s comments with their Liberal majority (the Conservatives abstained from voting). Interestingly, while a few colleagues support MP Cooper, Andrew Scheer sent a strong message to his whole party about the consequences of speaking out when he removed Cooper from the Committee.

Don’t back down MP Michael Cooper, your stand for freedom of speech in action is worth more than a committee seat!

To paraphrase Jordan Peterson, “There are going to be consequences for speaking, yes, but there are also consequences for not speaking! Not paying a price is not an option.”

So take a courageous stand. You can do that in many ways, but don’t overlook politics. Between elections, speaking truth to power means confronting politicians — but during elections, it means talking to the voters! You could do that as a candidate for the CHP. If you are not a member yet, please join. If you are not involved yet, please get involved. If you want to be a candidate, please contact the CHP so that unpopular truth will be spoken.

And finally, please consider watching this recent video of Dr. Jordan Peterson.



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