My response to the Jordan Peterson Show at the Canadian Tire Centre

I am writing this letter in my capacity as the Ottawa City Council Liaison for Women, Gender Equity and 2SLGBTQ+ Affairs to express my disappointment in your decision to host Jordan Peterson at the Canadian Tire Centre on January 31, 2023.

Addressed to:

The Canadian Tire Centre

The Ottawa Senators Group

Creative Artists Agency

I am writing this letter in my capacity as the Ottawa City Council Liaison for Women, Gender Equity and 2SLGBTQ+ Affairs to express my disappointment in your decision to host Jordan Peterson at the Canadian Tire Centre on January 31, 2023.

More than 30 non-profits, charities, businesses and organizations in Ottawa have released a statement condemning this event, due to the well-documented instances where Peterson has made statements that are insulting to and mocking of transgender and gender non-conforming people in Canada and around the world. As recently as last year, he referred to former Somerset Ward councillor McKenney as, “a thing.” His hateful rhetoric has no place in our city.

In addition to his documented harm against the trans community, Peterson was a vocal supporter of the so-called “Freedom Convoy,” an event that caused extreme harm to people in the ward I represent and the city at large. For three weeks, downtown residents were subject to the sound torture of constant honking, the open display of symbols of hatred and white supremacy on the streets, and to hundreds of documented instances of homophobic, transphobic, racist and antisemitic harassment.

During the first week of the convoy alone, businesses in the downtown Ottawa, including the city's busiest and largest shopping mall, the Rideau Centre, lost nearly $20 million, according to the Retail Council of Canada. Based on a class-action lawsuit against organizers, lawyer Paul Champ estimated that lost wages and revenue in the downtown core totaled at least $306 million.

On December 7, Ottawa City Council passed a motion condemning anti-trans hate. I am deeply disappointed in the management of the Canadian Tire Centre and the Ottawa Senators organization for booking this event – it directly contradicts the National Hockey League’s stated 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.

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.

 

Sincerely,

Ariel Troster

Councillor, Somerset Ward

Council Liaison for Women, Gender Equity and 2SLGBTQ+ Affairs

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