“It came out of left field.” That’s how Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli described to the Moose a massive cut in the budget of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. Fedeli says last Thursday’s provincial budget removes $70-million from MNDM which works out to about a 10 percent overall reduction. Fedeli says the cut is just one more sign that the Wynne Liberals have given up on the people of Ontario. MNDM helps to establish mining operations in Ontario and Fedeli says the ministry itself creates good, well-paying jobs. But the Tory MPP says “obviously (that’s) not a concern of this government.” When asked where the cuts would be made, Fedeli admitted he didn’t know. He says the bulk of the MNDM budget goes on salaries and office expenses. In the coming days Fedeli says the Progressive Conservatives will be asking the Liberals in Question Period why were the cuts made and where will they occur within the ministry. When asked to speculate on the rationale for the cuts, Fedeli said he thought they could be related to the Ring of Fire. The former North Bay Mayor said the 2017 budget makes no mention of the chromite project for the first time in several years. The Moose will examine Fedeli’s claim in more detail in a follow-up story.