An Ottawa councillor is calling on the Ottawa Senators and Canadian Tire Centre to cancel controversial psychologist and self-help author Jordan Peterson’s book tour stop in Ottawa next week.
The former University of Toronto professor-turned-YouTube personality is visiting Ottawa on Monday as part of his Beyond Order tour.
In an open letter to the Senators, Canadian Tire Centre and Creative Artists Agency, Somerset Coun. Ariel Troster expresses her disappointment in the decision to host the event.
“Ottawa has seen a rise in hate against 2SLGBTQ+ people in recent years, Jordan Peterson’s event undermines the work that the city and community organizations are doing to create stronger and more equitable communities,” Troster writes, who is the Council Liaison for Women, Gender Equity and 2SLGBTQ+.
Peterson rose to prominence in 2016 with a series of YouTube videos in which he spoke out against gender-neutral pronouns and Bill C-16, which banned discrimination against people based on gender identity.
His book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos was published in 2018 and has sold millions of copies. His follow-up Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, was released last year.
Peterson was suspended from Twitter last summer after violating Twitter’s hateful conduct policy by posting tweets targeting transgender actor Eliot Page. New Twitter owner Elon Musk reinstated Peterson’s account in November.
Last week, a coalition of community groups released a statement condemning the event and called on the CTC to cancel Peterson’s show. The letter said Peterson was an “avid supporter” of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ occupation.
“This is not the only reason that we express our concern around this event. The toxic, and often violent, rhetoric touted by Peterson—whose quasi-academic ideas are misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, and racist has led to an increased environment of hate, especially toward the trans community, that has been very present in Ottawa,” the letter said.
The letter was signed by more than 30 non-profits, businesses and organizations, including the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, Kind Space, the Council of Canadians, Defend Choice, the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women, Canadian Anti-Hate Network and the City for All Women Initiative.
Troster says council passed a motion condemning anti-trans hate in December, and the Senators’ decision to host Peterson “directly contradicts” the National Hockey League’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
“I hope you will re-consider hosting this event and connect with 2SLGBTQ+ community organizations in Ottawa to forge a path forward that ensures that the Canadian Tire Centre is never used as a platform for hate and discrimination,” Troster writes.
The Beyond Order tour featured nearly 100 stops this year in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. There are about 30 stops planned for next year so far.