Alas, poor Oily, we knew him …

… actually, not all that well at all, and now it looks like we may not even get the chance. Not in Toronto, anyway, where Oily doesn’t seem to be welcome — not when he shows up on a gas pump video screen.

From Spacing Toronto:

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have tried over and over to brand itself the chief defender of law and order in this country. But yesterday, when it launched its latest round of attack ads on the Liberals, the Conservative Party used illegal advertising space to get its message out, according to the co-ordinator of

The Conservatives didn’t just use a single illegal video screen to play the fiercely partisan advertisement. co-ordinator Rami Tabello told Spacing that every single screen that the spot is playing on at Toronto gas stations is illegal. According to media reports, gas station video screens are the primary vehicle for reaching Torontonians.

ITQ spoke to Rami Tabello earlier today.

Last year, he teamed up with Toronto City Councillor Howard Moscoe to fight a proposal that would have legalized pump signs – a fight that he eventually won, only to have one chain of gas stations ignore the law completely, according to the civic activist. In an email to, he said that the signs “continue to be illegal”:

When Toronto’s signs by-law was written in 1994, the regulations concerning signs at gas stations were negotiated between city planners and the oil companies. Esso has now decided to ignore those very regulatons that it previously agreed to. It is unfortunate that the Conservative’s law and order platform doesn’t extend to their own political advertising.

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