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Republicans Approve Bill Slashing Pete Buttigieg’s Salary to $1

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Republicans Approve Bill Slashing Pete Buttigieg's Salary to $1

The House approved a measure late Tuesday that would slash Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s taxpayer-funded government salary to just $1. The bill introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. was passed via voice vote Tuesday.

“I’m proud to announce my amendment to FIRE Pete Buttigieg just PASSED the House. Pothole Pete staged fake bike rides to the White House and used private planes funded by taxpayers to receive awards for the way certain people have sex,” Greene said in a social media post Tuesday. “American taxpayers should not be on the hook for paying for his lavish trips or his salary.”

pete-buttigieg

“Pete Buttigieg doesn’t do his job. It’s all about fake photo ops and taxpayer-funded private jet trip to accept LGBTQ awards for him,” Greene added. “I’m happy my amendment passed, but he doesn’t deserve a single penny.”

Since taking office in 2021, Buttigieg has faced criticism for Republican lawmakers in response to several crises that have faced the Department of Transportation.

For example, in February, after a train carrying vinyl chloride, a dangerous colorless gas, derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, Buttigieg was criticized for his apparent inaction and for waiting several weeks before traveling to the site of the derailment.

In addition, there have been multiple instances of mass commercial airline cancelations during his tenure for various reasons including a pilot shortage. Republicans and Democrats alike had called for Buttigieg to take decisive action to ensure air travelers are protected from such cancellations.

And while Buttigieg has spent much of his tenure addressing commercial delays, he has used government-managed private jets on at least 18 occasions since taking office. Those flights sparked an ongoing inspector general probe and, according to information obtained by Americans for Public Trust (APT), have cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

Pete Buttigieg

In one instance in September 2022, Pete Buttigieg used a government jet for a round trip journey to Montreal.

During the visit, he attended a ceremony during hosted by a large Canadian gay rights organization where he received a prestigious award for his “contributions to the advancement of LGBTQ rights.”

Buttigieg’s office has further stonewalled additional information about his use of the executive fleet. His use of a fleet of government-managed executive jets is the subject of an ongoing Inspector General audit. Buttigieg and senior staff used the jets for nearly two dozen flights in 2021 and 2022.

“Secretary Pete Buttigieg continues to blow off the American people who simply want to know the true cost of his taxpayer-funded private jet trips,” APT Executive Director Caitlin Sutherland told Fox News Digital on Tuesday. ”

After multiple FOIA requests, a lawsuit, and an ongoing inspector general investigation, Pete Buttigieg’s office still refuses to provide vital details about using a private government jet for a swing state tour, which appears more akin to campaigning than official DOT business.”

“Pete Buttigieg looks to be politicizing his role and making it clear that he believes he’s above accountability and transparency, a dismissive attitude that seems to be endemic throughout the Biden administration,” Sutherland said.

And the transportation secretary came under fire last year after it was revealed he vacationed in Porto, Portugal, while his agency and the White House were locked in tense negotiations with rail worker unions to avert a strike that could have had a dire impact on the U.S. economy.

The Department of Transportation said at the time that the vacation was a “long-planned personal trip.”

Original article source: House approves bill slashing Pete Buttigieg’s salary to $1

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Canada Day Parade Cancelled in Montreal Due to Bureaucracy and Politics

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Canada Day Parade Cancelled in Montreal

The organizer of Montreal’s Canada Day parade has cancelled this year’s event, blaming bureaucratic red tape and politics. Nick Cowen the main Organizer of the Montreal Canada Day Parade issued a press release stating that he has had increasing difficulty in obtaining permissions and funds, as well as approval from government officials.

“Despite honoring all conditions set forth, Cowen said in his press release that he had been met with rules that change at the last minute and requests that make putting on the parade virtually impossible, An event that is meant to inspire unity has been thwarted because of division.”

Cowen claimed that in 2023, he was compelled to fill out the same documentation many times and completely restructure the event to satisfy Montreal city regulators. He also stated that he was directed to find 148 volunteers at the last minute, in order to ensure that at least one person stood by the procession cars’ tires.

“Imagine you are in traffic and need four people, one at each tire, to make sure no one runs under the wheel of a normal car,” he stated in an email.

Government Bureaucracy

He added that the federal government “requested that parts of the parade be removed entirely,” including the cake to be presented at the end of the march. “The parade’s budget was also reduced to 2013 levels in another devastating blow to this cherished event,” the author said.

The city of Montreal and the federal heritage agency did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

The parade has taken place since the late 1970s, however it was canceled between 2020 and 2022 due of the COVID-19 epidemic.

The news comes as organizers in some communities have rethought their celebrations in recent years due to rising security and insurance costs, as well as funding issues.

Cowen told The Canadian Press that, while COVID-19 contributed to the event’s cancellation, he was also trying to meet mounting costs as federal financing failed to keep up with inflation.

Other Canada Day celebrations will take place in Montreal on July 1, including the customary Old Port celebration with games, face painting, cupcakes, and music.

Canada Day in Montreal

In Montreal, Canada Day is a vibrant celebration that oozes enthusiasm and pride throughout the city. People dress in their finest patriotic garb, and the streets are filled with red and white.

Typically, the day begins with a massive parade through the city center, complete with colorful floats, marching bands, and cultural performers. Local parks are wonderful picnic spots since they host family-friendly activities such as face painting, games, and live music.

Streetside food trucks bordering the avenues serve a variety of Canadian foods, including poutine and maple sugar. Fireworks over the Old Port brighten the sky as the sun sets, creating a fantastic atmosphere.

Concerts and other activities continue throughout the evening, emphasizing local talent and fostering a sense of community. It’s a day of celebration, togetherness, and deep appreciation for Canada’s rich history.

Both locals and foreigners should attend this event because of Montreal’s unique fusion of French and English cultures, which adds a unique flavor to the celebrations.

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UK Conservative Party Candidates Investigated for Illegal Election Betting

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Conservative Party election betting
Conservative Party members under investigation: Reuters Image

The UK Sunday Times has reported a member of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party is currently under investigation by Britain’s gambling regulator on suspicion of having gambled on the general election date prior to its announcement.

Two Conservative candidates for office and the party’s head of campaigns are reportedly under investigation by Britain’s Gambling Commission for alleged wagers placed on the July 4 election.

The opposition Labour Party is currently polling considerably ahead of Sunak in the lead-up to the election, and the scandal’s expansion has only made matters worse.

The Conservative Party’s top data officer, Nick Mason, was named by the newspaper as the official. When asked for comment, Mason did not immediately answer. Mason disputed the allegations, according to the newspaper’s citation of a spokeswoman for him.

According to a statement from the Conservative Party, Mason has taken a leave of absence, according to the Sunday Times. Reuters reached out to the party, but they declined to corroborate the report.

“We are not permitted to discuss any matters related to any investigation with the subject or any other persons,” a spokesman for the Conservative Party said, following instructions from the Gambling Commission.

Conservative Party Director Takes Leave

No individuals have been named by the Gambling Commission as of yet. Commission officials have refused to comment on the Sunday Times story, citing confidentiality agreements on the investigation’s subjects.

An “incredibly angry” Sunak expressed his dismay at the accusations leveled against his party members on Thursday, describing them as a “really serious matter.”

The director of campaigns for the Conservative Party, Tony Lee, has taken a leave of absence, and one of the candidates implicated in the incident, Craig Williams, has previously expressed regret for a mistake.

Alleged wagers on the election day have led to the arrest of a special protection unit police officer as well.

Election betting in the UK has skyrocketed in popularity. People place wagers on everything from the overall winner to individual constituency results. It’s not just about predicting who’ll take the Prime Minister’s office.

Many bet on voter turnout, party performance, and even whether certain policies will pass. Betting companies provide detailed odds, helping punters make informed choices.

This betting trend reflects the UK public’s engagement with politics, adding an extra layer of excitement to election periods. It’s a fascinating blend of politics and gambling, drawing in seasoned bettors and curious newcomers alike.

Source: Reuters

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NATO Secretary-General Urges Trudeau to Honour Canada’s Spending Target

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Canada
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: AP Image

Canada needs to meet NATO’s minimum defence spending target, and present a plan on how it will reach it as a way to show authoritarian regimes that Western allies are aligned, NATO alliance’s secretary general has said.

Numbers NATO released this week show Canada is expected to spend 1.37 per cent of its gross domestic product on defence this year, well below the two per cent target.

“Canada’s standing in NATO is strong, but at the same time of course we expect all allies to make good on the promise of investing two per cent,” Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of NATO, said during an event hosted by the NATO Association of Canada in Ottawa.

Ahead of Stoltenberg’s remarks, Defence Minister Bill Blair promised the goal will eventually be reached, as Russia’s war in Ukraine raises a threat of expanded conflict in Europe.

Last year, members agreed that two per cent should be a minimum, a reflection of worries over Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Stoltenberg acknowledged it’s tough for politicians to prioritize defence over social services, but said a precondition of success in any Western country is preserving peace and investing in security.

Canada faces the same challenges as all the allied countries that have budgets, he said.

“They’re concerned about the fiscal balance. They want to spend money on health, education and on the other things,” he said.

But at the end of the day, if those countries aren’t able to prevent war, their efforts on health, education and climate change “will fail” he said.

NATO Association of Canada

His remarks on spending received enthusiastic applause from the NATO Association of Canada, including from former defence minister Anita Anand, who snuck in the back to listen to his remarks.

A handful of protesters gathered outside a building in the parliamentary precinct where Stoltenberg spoke.

On the sidewalk in front of the building, “Canada lagging behind our NATO allies” was written in chalk, along with “Trudeau and Blair laughing stocks of the world” and “Canadians are not laughing.”

Stoltenberg’s visit came the same day Russia and North Korea signed an agreement that pledges mutual aid if either country faces “aggression.”

Stoltenberg expressed concern that Russia could be providing support to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and over China “propping up Russia’s war economy” by providing electronics that are being used in weapons and combat against Ukraine.

“So the answer is that when they are more and more aligned, all the authoritarian regimes like North Korea, China, Iran and Russia, then it’s even more important that we are aligned as countries believing in freedom and democracy,” he said.

Defence Spending

Defence spending across European allies and Canada was up nearly 18 per cent this year alone, Stoltenberg said during a speech at the White House on Monday — the biggest increase in decades.

Blair has said Canada’s defence spending will climb to at least 1.75 per cent of its GDP by 2029.

Additional spending on a new submarine fleet and integrated air defence and missile systems will probably push the figure past the two per cent mark, Blair said.

“Let me assure you that we’ve been doing a great deal of work within our Defence Department, with the government of Canada, but also with our NATO allies,” Blair said.

Allies were “very encouraged” by a defence policy update Canada released earlier this year, he said.

Defence spending will be among a number of topics Stoltenberg said he would raise with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who he had dinner with on Wednesday.

Defence spending delayed

The secretary general embraced Trudeau and Ottawa warmly, calling Canada like “home” and the prime minister “friend.” Stoltenberg also wants Canada to scale up its contribution in the North and maritime operations.

Both Blair and Anand, now treasury board president, acknowledged this week that defence spending is delayed because of a shortage of procurement workers. “We have the ability to accelerate spending. It does require an investment in people to get the job done,” Blair said.

The Liberal government has set aside $1.8 billion over 20 years to increase the number of workers who can purchase new equipment, recruit, train new soldiers and upgrade infrastructure.

NATO leaders are set to meet in Washington, D.C., next month for an annual summit and mark the alliance’s 75th anniversary.

Increasing funding for Ukraine will be an agenda priority, after Stoltenberg came forward with a proposal for all NATO allies to contribute 40 billion euros a year, Blair said.

At the White House on Monday, Stoltenberg said his expectation for next month’s meeting is to have allies agree “to step up financial and military support to Ukraine,” and reduce the burden on the U.S.

Source: The Canadian Press

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