This is one of my favorites, from November 2009. Columnist Mark Lemstra—a man who has somehow managed to “earn” no less than four (4!) PhDs during his time on this earth—has a hate-on for all things Saskatoon Health Region. To be honest, I had never really made it through any of his columns because they were bloody awful to read until a colleague pointed out to me that they all ended the same way: “Do we have the will to proceed with evidence-based policies?” I don’t know, Mark. Do we? If not, then why not?
Anyway, after a few weeks of spotting his byline and heading to the end to see if the man deviated from his consistent cut-off, I had enough and wrote the following.
“Do we have the will to proceed with evidence-based policies?” This is the question posed by the StarPhoneix’s star columnist Mark Lemstra on all things heath-related—every single week. So consistent is he with his inevitable closing remark that many SP readers, myself included, have skipped reading the bulk of his column and instead move all the way to the end to see if an ounce of creative, original thought has finally been published in his name. Alas, we are continually disappointed, but remain optimistic that he will have his query answered so that we may move on to a more productive discussion of the issues of the day.
Perhaps Dr. Lemstra would finally get his desired answer if his column: a) involved more substantive commentary than simply throwing statistic after incoherent statistic; and b) offered a solution that did not call for an overwhelming increase of state-regulated intrusion into our daily lives.
The question is: Does the SP have the will to publish a column on health issues that is written by someone who actually knows how to write?
The letter was published and—again—the closing line edited out, alas. However, I have noticed that Lemstra has moved away from his signature ending.
In case you were wondering if these letters ever make a difference.