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NEWS: Hudak says Melancthon quarry “should go back to the drawing board”

CBC reports, “Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said Highland Companies “should go back to the drawing board” with plans to build a massive limestone quarry north of Orangeville, Ont. Speaking to CBC Radio’s Rita Celli on Ontario Today, Hudak responded to a caller’s question about the controversial quarry planned for Melancthon Township, which the Liberals announced on Sept. 2 would undergo an environmental assessment.”

“‘I don’t give Dalton McGuinty any credit,’ said Hudak on Friday. ‘They dithered and delayed on this and then just moments before the election, decided to do the study.’ …Hudak said his party advocates a go-slow approach to the project. ‘We have concerns about this,’ he told Celli. ‘I mean, this is a project that you can see from space and I understand it’s deeper than Niagara Falls, down from where I come from.’ I think this company needs to respond to those concerns, to make sure we’ve got a rigorous environmental process in place. I actually think a better way to approach this is this company should go back to the drawing board, respond to the local concerns.'”

So now the Liberals are positioned as calling for an environmental assessment of the quarry (not quashing the project as we’ve demanded), while the Progressive Conservatives appear to be suggesting more by saying the company “should go back to the drawing board” on the project.

The proposed quarry was a major issue at an election debate in the provincial riding of Dufferin-Caledon on September 7. The Orangeville Banner reported, “The first quarry-related question asked (Conservative incumbent Sylvia) Jones if her party would conduct a ‘full provincial assessment’ and her leader’s position on the subject. ‘I am happy to represent the views of Dufferin-Caledon,’ Jones replied. ‘The views of Dufferin-Caledon have been very clear on this proposed application.’ However, Jones failed to explain the view of PC leader Tim Hudak on the quarry application.” For more on this, please go to http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10411.

A recent Ipsos Reid poll indicated that 38 percent of Ontarians think Conservative leader Tim Hudak would make the best premier, 33 percent believe Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty is the best choice, while 24 percent support NDP leader Andrea Horwath. A Nanos poll indicates 30.3 percent support for McGuinty, 28.7 percent for Hudak, and 12.2 percent for Horwath. Wilfrid Laurier professor Barry Kay recently projected the Progressive Conservatives winning 51 seats (up 26 seats from their current standing of 25), the Liberals winning 41 (down from 70), and the NDP winning 15 (up from 10).

For an overview of our campaign to stop the Melancthon quarry, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10270.