News / Calgary

Controversial professor Jordan Peterson will not speak to public in Calgary

A spokesman for Peterson told Metro the date was always meant to be a media availability, not related to cancelled Edmonton event

Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto professor who refuses to use gender neutral pronouns during a heated discussion with some students in the downtown campus, Toronto, Tuesday, October 11, 2016.

Eduardo Lima / Toronto Staff

Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto professor who refuses to use gender neutral pronouns during a heated discussion with some students in the downtown campus, Toronto, Tuesday, October 11, 2016.

Controversial Alberta-born professor and public speaker Dr. Jordan Peterson appears to have cancelled plans for a talk in Calgary he says wasn't meant to be open to the public anyway.

Just a week after Peterson sparked controversy by booking a venue for his talk in Edmonton, a spokesperson for the University of Toronto professor told Metro the Calgary date previously listed on his website was never intended to be open to all.

Instead, the event next month will be a media opportunity open to journalists – despite the 297 people signed up online to hear the University of Toronto professor speak.

Peterson's website, which originally linked to an online signup website, reads: "Dr. Peterson will be speaking in the evening in Calgary on February 12, 2018. The precise topic has not yet been determined, but he will talk for at least part of the time about his new book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos."

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The site said those who signed up would get an email notification once tickets to the event were made available.

But Peterson spokesperson Scott Sellers told Metro the evening had always been intended as a press event.

"This has nothing to do with last week," said Sellers. "There was some talk of trying to arrange a public event as part of the media day but there wasn’t enough time to plan it. Therefore, [we're] hoping to arrange something at a future date."

Pictured is the schedule from Dr. Jordan Peterson's webpage with a speaking date in Calgary, location to be announced. Below, the same schedule shows Calgary's missing date.

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Pictured is the schedule from Dr. Jordan Peterson's webpage with a speaking date in Calgary, location to be announced. Below, the same schedule shows Calgary's missing date.

Several online commenters expressed disappointment that Peterson wouldn't be addressing the public, while others thanked the professor for standing up for the truth.

The psychology professor gained notoriety in 2016 when he publicly refused to use gender-neutral pronouns. He has also amassed a large YouTube following and has authored several self-help books.

He said the dates and locations were automatically populated to the website by the web developer.

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