02/29/2012 11:20 EST

Alykhan Velshi, Former Ethical Oil Spokesman Leaves Toronto Atmospheric Fund


Controversial Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) appointee Alykhan Velshi has left the board of the city council committee to return to Ottawa and work in the Prime Minister’s Office, The Toronto Star first reported.

Velshi has been with the PMO since December.

Velshi, a former conservative party strategist who played a key role in attracting attention to EthicalOil.orga pro-industry campaign aimed at re-branding the Alberta oil sands, was appointed to TAF in September. Velshi has blogged for The Huffington Post Canada.

Toronto Councillor Shelley Carroll, the current TAF chair, said she was surprised to learn of Velshi’s resignation so shortly after his appointment.

“We didn’t have our brush with fame and [Alykhan] Velshi after all. He resigned before he even had the chance to attend the first meeting,” she told HuffPost. “He seemed very gung-ho, but suddenly, not so much.”

Velshi’s appointment came as a surprise to those who questioned whether his previous commitment to expanding oil production would conflict with the mandate of the city council committee, which finances local initiatives to fight global warming.

At the time of his appointment, Velshi told The Huffington Post that he was drawn to the position by the opportunity to keep an eye on TAF’s bottom line “at a time of economy uncertainty.”

Velshi did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on Wednesday.

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