Inside Politics

WebWatch: Stockwell Day Connex

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Former Conservative cabinet minister Stockwell Day, who retired from government before the recent election, has launched a new consulting company, Stockwell Day Connex. Here's an annotated look at his new website:

1. "Connex" - Sounds like "Connects" and therefore a good choice for a firm that offers to assist "organizations and individuals in navigating the labyrinth of government."

"Connex" is also a mathematical term that describes the binary relation R over X, if for all a and b in X such that a ≠ b, a is related to b or b is related to a (or both), according Wolfgang Rautenberg in his 2006 A concise introduction to mathematical logic. And Wikipedia.

"Connex" is also an earlier name used by European wireless giant Vodafone - and look how they took off.

And the "x" helps distinguish it from CBC's Connect with Mark Kelley, should there be any confusion, as Day is also a contributor for CBC.

2. "Government relations" is a pretty broad term that means everything from explaining how government works to companies or individuals who need to know, to offering those clients strategies for dealing with government regulations, to advocating on the part of client companies or industries that come under government regulation. As one director of government relations puts it, "government relations" is education mixed with advocacy.

In this context "advocacy" is often called lobbying, which is why the Government Relations Institute of Canada begins its answer to the question "What is government relations?" this way: "Lobbying is a legitimate part of the democratic public policy process. Lobbying activities are defined and sanctioned by the Lobbying Act."

But....

3. "Stockwell Day Connex is not a lobbying firm" because as a former minister, Day is not allowed to lobby the government of Canada for a period of five years after leaving office, according to the Government of Canada Accountability Act passed by Parliament in 2006.

Among other things, the Accountability Act toughened the Lobbyists Registration Act and appointed a Commissioner of Lobbying. Lobbyists are required to register with the commissioner's office. Because he is not a lobbyist, Day consulted with the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, and as his site notes, will also not provide "insider" information about "Cabinet discussion, files or decisions past or pending."

4. Like other former politicians such as Monte Solberg and Glen Pearson, Day plans to blog on his site - so "check back soon." 
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