Premier's friend working tobacco litigation file

One of the premier's longtime friends has added his name to British Columbia's list of lobbyists. But Toronto-based communications consultant Derek Raymaker says he's not playing on his connection to the premier and is just seeking information from the provincial government.

Mr. Raymaker, who once described himself in a tongue-in-cheek blog entry as Ms. Clark's drinking buddy, registered as a lobbyist for Windsor-based law firm Greg Monforton and Partners on August 17.

According to the registration file, the firm is looking to "raise awareness" about government-driven cost-recovery litigation targeting the tobacco industry. Mr. Raymaker declined to provide further details, except to say he was simply asked to look into the status of such litigation in British Columbia.

"I've not been authorized to do anything more than seek information," he stated.

Mr. Raymaker said he registered as a lobbyist "because I'm very sensitive to my legal obligations. I don't want to cast aspirations but I'm sure there's a lot of people out there who feel they do not have to register for seeking out information. But I'm the kind of person who likes to play it safe."

He also said he hasn't spoken to Ms. Clark since her leadership win, stating, "I do not have any more or less access than anybody else who has registered as a lobbyist. I've known Christy for a longtime and I have a general knowledge of B.C. politics."

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