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."

If approved, the quarry will be a source of crushed limestone for the construction industry. Highland Companies plan to dig the quarry in thousands of hectares of agricultural land it has purchased for the project.

'He have concerns,' Hudak says

Environmentalists and landowners in the area have expressed concern about the project’s effect on water quality. However in an April press release, the company insisted the project won’t affect drinking water and claims the quarry will create 465 jobs.

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."