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Petition calls on City of Victoria to cancel upcoming Jordan Peterson event

Controversial psychologist to speak live at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre May 19
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Jordan Peterson speaks to a crowd during a stop in Sherwood Park Alta, on Sunday Feb. 11, 2018. Peterson is a controversial Canadian psychologist known for his views on cultural and political issues. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Canadian psychologist, author and media commentator Jordan B. Peterson is coming to Victoria to talk about his latest book — and one resident isn’t so thrilled about his visit.

An online petition is calling on Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto and the city to cancel Peterson’s May 19 live speaking event at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, citing concern for the safety of women, transgender and gender non-conforming people.

“Violence against women and LGBTQ2SIA+ folks starts with words so giving this man a platform to speak is directly impacting safety of marginalized communities,” wrote the petitioner, identified as Eddi Wilson.

Peterson has received widespread attention for his views on cultural and political issues, which have often been seen as controversial.

“Peterson and his followers will often argue that protesting or calling for the cancellation of his events is a censorship or infringement on the freedom of expression,” Wilson wrote.

“However freedom of expression in Canada is not absolute especially when it comes to hate speech that incites violence against a particular defined racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, religious or other identifiable group.”

Wilson added that the petition was started in hopes that the City of Victoria would “reconsider giving such a large platform to someone who promotes ideas that are harmful to women and minorities.”

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre has said the event will proceed as planned.

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