Professional associations go woke

The last couple of years have seen growing opposition to “wokeness” as more and more people realize how ridiculous it is and that they have no interest in this affecting our freedoms and our lives. Photo Credit: National Post/Jordan Peterson. 


Jordan Peterson’s current travails with the College of Psychologists of Ontario have hit the headlines lately, as Peterson legally challenged the College’s demand that he undertake remedial social media training, at his expense, if he wanted to retain his license to practise as a psychologist. 

Peterson had made some comments on social media some time ago that met with the College’s disapproval – although nothing he said was in any way illegal – and this sparked the College’s demand for the training. Peterson, a staunch free speech advocate, naturally opposed the demand and took the matter to court. With this latest decision of Ontario’s top court, Peterson has now exhausted his legal options and must decide if he wants to lose his license or do the required training. 

This dramatic series of events has been interesting to follow and the story is not yet over, although it currently appears as if Peterson will take the so-called remedial training and publicly make fun of it constantly while doing so. Given his world-wide fame and his talent for sarcasm and exposing the idiocy in the “woke” agenda, it is likely the College will be sorry they ever engaged in this exercise. But what these events have proven without a doubt is that the ridiculous and censorious “woke” dictates have thoroughly penetrated the Ontario organization. 

Unfortunately, the College of Psychologists is not the only professional oversight body that has bought into these ridiculous ideas. The Law Society of Ontario has been experiencing a battle for years between the forces of freedom and woke, in which each faction competes for spots on the Society’s governing body. After a victory for the non-woke forces in 2019, the most recent election last year put the woke faction clearly in charge. Accordingly, there will be priority given to equity, diversity and inclusion, a focus on systemic discrimination and other woke principles. That this will presumably influence legal decisions over and above the law itself is worrisome, to say the least. This battle will undoubtedly continue within the Law Society in future, considering the ferocity of the infighting to date. 

Perhaps the most worrisome emergence of this phenomenon is taking place within two of the governing bodies of the medical profession. The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the College of Family Physicians are seeking a change in how doctors should be trained and evaluated throughout their careers. A proposal has been put forward that medical expertise take a back seat to prioritising values such as anti-colonialism, anti-racism and anti-oppression, and if adopted would completely change how medical students are trained. This is frightening in the extreme and an indication of how the woke sympathisers have been successful in taking over some doctors’ organizations. 

Thankfully, in the survey on this issue that was distributed to members of the profession, a large majority of the 7,000 respondents opposed the new direction. This is a relief in the short term, but the determination of the woke constituency should not be underestimated and the fact this type of wonky proposal was even seriously considered for something as important as health care is shocking. Sadly, it won’t be surprising to see this type of initiative resurrected in future. 

The last couple of years have seen growing opposition to “wokeness” as more and more people realize how ridiculous it is and that they have no interest in this affecting our freedoms and our lives. Some folks have even claimed that this trend was on the decline, but that is disputed by its continued influence on highly educated groups such as these professional organizations.  When such thinking gets into regulatory bodies that are integral to important things such as psychology practise, the law and our health care system, it displaces what should take priority in these key areas and degrades services to citizens. 

This author is rooting for Jordan Peterson and his crusade to bring standards back to where they should be and the ability of professionals to practise their trade with high-quality skills and successful outcomes. The alternative is adherence to suffocating dictates imposed by a minority of overbearing social justice warriors who oppose freedom, substitute equity for equality, downplay the value of merit, apply human rights selectively and believe social engineering should govern our lives.  One can hope that Peterson’s campaign will put the lie to this corrosive belief system for once and for all.

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