Jordan Peterson sues Wilfrid Laurier University for defamation. $1.5 million. A very good chance he will win.

Author and free-speech advocate Jordan Peterson is suing Wilfrid Laurier University over comments made about him by three staff members in a meeting held to discipline Lindsay Shepherd, a teaching assistant who showed her class a clip of Mr. Peterson talking about gender pronouns.

During the meeting, the three staff members repeatedly and maliciously defamed the author and University of Toronto psychology professor, the $1.5-million suit alleges, detailing multiple negative comments.

Mr. Peterson targeted transgender students, said Nathan Rambukkana, Ms. Shepherd’s teaching supervisor. Showing students comments he has made is like “playing … a speech by Hitler,” Mr. Rambukkana also said. Herbert Pimlott, another professor present at the meeting, questioned Mr. Peterson’s academic credentials, saying he “does not have the substantial academic evidence to be a credible person,” the suit says.

Ms. Shepherd secretly recorded the meeting and released it to the media, leading to national criticism of the university’s actions against her. It has since been posted or linked online on multiple sites.

The three staff members should have known that could happen, the suit says.

“These defamatory statements were malicious and designed specifically to damage [Mr. Peterson’s] personal and professional character as a Professor, author, lecturer and public intellectual,” the suit says.

None of the allegations outlined in the suit has been proved in court and those named in the suit have yet to file their statement of defence.

The university said it would “vigorously defend” itself. “Laurier remains committed to intellectual inquiry, critical reflection, scholarly integrity, academic freedom and freedom of expression while striving to be a supportive and inclusive community,” the Waterloo, Ont., school said in a statement.

Several experts in defamation law, however, said the university could argue that any comments made in the meeting are protected by “qualified privilege.”

“The law wants to give people the ability to speak freely without fear of a libel lawsuit in certain situations,” Toronto defamation lawyer Gil Zvulony said.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-jordan-peterson-sues-wilfrid-laurier-university-for-defamation/