A lingering trait from having grown up in Canada is my knee-jerk need to inform Americans about famous people who hail from my country of origin. It stems from the insecurity I developed from my childhood days when Americans were frighteningly ignorant about Canada, perceiving the country as a tiny wasteland where everyone knew each other. Growing up, it was not uncommon for me to tell an American that I was from Toronto, and they’d ask me if I knew someone in a far-away place like Vancouver.

To compensate, I’d note the Canadian origins of every famous person at every opportunity possible. Someone would mention Crosby Stills, Nash & Young and I’d immediately say, “Did you know Neil Young is Canadian?” If someone said they enjoyed folk music, I’d immediately say, “Did you known Joni Mitchell is Canadian?”

Americans are somewhat more informed about Canada these days, and the country is romanticized by a big swath of far-left liberals who believe Canada’s political pastures are far greener. I’m always amused when my liberal friend vows he will move to Canada if Donald Trump is re-elected. My immediate thought is, “I hope you never need medical care.”

Americans who read conservative media are much better informed about Canada and its leaders. They not only know the name of Canada’s prime minister, they are very much aware that he’s not all that bright. Many know that while Justin Trudeau fashions himself as a genuine Liberal, he once dressed in blackface.

They also know that civil liberties aren’t guaranteed in Canada, thanks to the Trudeau government’s seizure of protesting truckers’ bank accounts. That wasn’t Trudeau’s doing but rather his sidekick, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who I regard as one of the most dangerous and dishonest leaders in the Western world, particularly since she is a darling of the Davos crowd and has strong previous ties to George Soros.

Readers of conservative media last week were given another lesson about the increasing dangers about living in Canada. It’s been widely reported that psychologist Jordan Peterson is at risk of losing his license for wrongthink, as the College of Psychologists of Ontario has demanded that Peterson confess he “lacked professionalism” for his previous impolitic statements and undergo a “coaching program” of remedial education.

One can almost hear George Orwell shouting from heaven, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you!”

What’s got the overseers of Ontario’s psychologists in a tizzy are public comments Peterson made that don’t conform to the standards and mores the Trudeau government and Canada’s media (which are pretty much one and the same) want to impose on all Canadians.

As reported on the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, Peterson’s comments included calling Elliot Page, the transgender actor, by his former name, “Ellen,” and the pronoun “her,” on Twitter. He called an adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a “prik.” He made a sarcastic crack at antigrowth environmentalists for their indifference to energy policies that result in more deaths of impoverished Third World children. Peterson also derided a full-figured model featured in Sports Illustrated. “Sorry. Not Beautiful. And no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.”

Peterson’s comments about Page were cruel. I’ve long been a fan of Page, and his transition decision awakened me to the torment transgender people suffer. Even with Hollywood’s professed liberalism, it’s not going to help his career. Transitioning is difficult enough without having a prominent fellow Canadian publicly disrespecting a personal decision. (Sorry, I needed to slip in that Elliot Page also is Canadian).

In my mind, merely calling anyone with ties to Trudeau or Freeland a “prik” shows remarkable restraint. Saying a Sports Illustrated model isn’t beautiful is fair game, as the magazine chooses it models based on what the publication’s editors deem sexy. I don’t find the pouty models gracing the billboards around Los Angeles attractive. As I’ve previously written, I view MacKenzie Scott America’s sexiest woman.

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Until his dustup with Ontario’s psych regulator, I was only mildly familiar with Peterson, but the one time I watched his podcast proved very therapeutic. It was after Freeland froze the assets of Canada’s protesting truckers, and someone who knew I was upset sent me a clip of Peterson interviewing a guest whose identity I can’t recall. What impressed me and gave me solace was both Peterson and his guest were wickedly intelligent; they understood the horrors of what’s unfolding in Canada.

Watching Peterson reassured me that I wasn’t crazy, and I was unaware that he was a licensed psychologist. Listening to Peterson’s heavy Canadian accent brought back some of my good memories growing up in Canada.

Reading up on Peterson today I learned that his academic credentials are top tier. According to Peterson’s Wikipedia profile, he earned a PhD in clinical psychology from McGill University, and then moved to Boston to become a researcher and teacher at Harvard (I’m certain that Peterson today wouldn’t be allowed on that school’s campus, let alone be offered a teaching position.) Peterson returned to Canada in 1998 to join the psychology faculty of the University of Toronto, which as recently as six years ago was ranked the 13th best in the world.

I also learned that Peterson shares my disdain for Chrystia Freeland. It’s cold and rainy today in Los Angeles but watching the accompanying YouTube video so warmed my insides that I watched it twice. Watch the video and you’ll get a taste of why Canada can’t reach its potential because of its troubled leadership. In addition to being Canada’s deputy prime minister, Freeland is also the finance minister, and she apparently celebrated gas reaching $8 a gallon. An indifference to the soaring price of gas has on the economy is what I’d expect from a senior U.S. Senator, not someone who attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Peterson strikes me as an ethical guy who lives by his convictions. A year ago, he resigned his position as a full tenured professor at University of Toronto, despite his longtime hope that he’d continue teaching until “they had to haul my skeleton out of my office.”

Here’s one of the reasons Peterson resigned, which he articulated in this June 19, 2022, op-ed Canada’s National Post had the courage to publish:

My qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students (and I’ve had many others, by the way) face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers. This is partly because of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates (my preferred acronym: DIE). These have been imposed universally in academia, despite the fact that university hiring committees had already done everything reasonable for all the years of my career, and then some, to ensure that no qualified “minority” candidates were ever overlooked.

My students are also partly unacceptable precisely because they are my students. I am academic persona non grata, because of my unacceptable philosophical positions. And this isn’t just some inconvenience. These facts rendered my job morally untenable. How can I accept prospective researchers and train them in good conscience knowing their employment prospects to be minimal?

As best I can tell, Peterson doesn’t see patients nor is he working in academia. That means he doesn’t need a license to continue speaking out against the tyranny of political correctness, a cancer spreading throughout the western world, particularly at some of the leading universities. Ontario’s College of Psychologists merely wanted to flex its regulatory muscles and show its power, presumably as a warning to any other psychologists who don’t conform to prevailing political dogma.

For an organization whose expertise is supposedly psychology, it’s alarming that they’d spark such a controversial action that will accomplish nothing but sow more anger and division. One hopes the psychologists presumably running the place understood in advance that Peterson would never comply with their order, and if they follow through on it, for some it will undermine trust in seeing a psychologist, at least one licensed in Ontario. Unless there is some serious industry pushback, frankly I think one would have to be crazy to see a psychologist trained and licensed in Ontario.

The Peterson saga is an example why Canada has lost its competitive edge, a casualty of entrusting the country to the leadership of a former drama teacher and journalist. Canada could be a haven for the myriad talented and experienced persons whose careers were destroyed because of cancel culture, people like Dr. David Sabatini, a scientist who many believed was well on his way to finding a cure for cancer, Donald McNeil, a storied science writer who was felled because of the cowardice of the publisher of the New York Times, and Jon Gruden, who could certainly elevate the standards of Canadian football. In short order, the repatriation of Elon Musk could be a possibility. (I needed to make sure you knew that Musk also lived in Canada.)

As for Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, I no longer tout their Canadian backgrounds given their misguided censorship attempts on Joe Rogan. The College of Psychologists of Ontario should invite Young and Mitchell to their next convention. Everyone would be assured to be singing from the same page.

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