Huszka wants plan for growth in Dawn-Euphemia


Emery Huszka says Dawn-Euphemia needs a plan to move the community forward.
The 47 year-old farmer, seed salesman and co-owner of an apartment complex in Florence says there needs to be a strategic plan to figure out what the population of the community should be and how to get there.
The head of the National Farmers Union of Ontario is seeking a seat at council to move that idea forward.
Why did you want to run for council?
“Frustration. That Dawn-Euphemia has lost out on OMPF funding steadily for the past three years, that our population continues to slide and there doesn’t seem to be a local vision to turn that round.
How do you solve the issue of depopulation?
“It’s not a simple one fix item. I would suggest there needs to be a strategy locally and a target of where we need to get to. Obviously, we don’t want to be 50,000 people here in Dawn-Euphemia but we want to be up to that 2,500 mark and were only at about 2,000 people.”
What are some of the things that would attract people to live in Dawn-Euphemia?
“They need a job. They need a reason for being here. There is only so much retirement living that you can incorporate into a community. That’s a dangerous way of planning. When that retirement living dries up then what are you going to do? There needs to be a balanced strategy that brings all age groups into the community.”
The municipality had an opportunity to bring in a job creator – a greenhouse – but its infrastructure couldn’t handle it – what do you do about that?
“This is part of a strategic plan. We knew, we knew as a council years ago, that we were stretching our resources as far as water goes….I think we haven’t explored all the alternatives on the water front. Housing development – there are no homes. Availability of housing in Dawn-Euphemia is next to nothing…We should look at it like Newbury did, if you want to build in our community, God bless you we’re going to pay the building permit…Newbury gave themselves a real jolt forward brought in a lot of housing development which brought in a lot of ratepayers to share the costs that they already had.
Dawn-Euphemia has taken the right step by acquiring the land behind the community centre. Obviously they have to solve the sewage question once and for all and the strategy to incorporate some development in the are is good as well.
“However many years this (sewage problem) has dragged on it really doesn’t matter it has to come to some end. We can either do it proactively which I think the township has started moving toward that or we can be dragged kicking and screaming. I’d rather do it on our terms.
“But in the township, that 50 acre parcel of farmland is also important for growth as well. We’ve got to be able to adjust to the modern time and allow people to build on properties that are available today…you can have an intensive farm. Small crop production is more sustainable than it was years ago.”
“Lambton County decides it from a building perspective but that doesn’t mean we have to sit on our hands. We have to assess how many dollars this is hurting our economy and if we have to present  a bill to the county, even if it symbolic, this is what you have lost us in ratepayers, you’re part of the blame of this. We need to have this.”
What skills do you have that would make you a good municipal councillor?
Huszka says he knows the value of a dollar and wants to spend it wisely and has experience dealing with upper levels of government because of his work with the NFU.