Environmental groups involved in the debate over Enbridge Inc.'s Northern Gateway oilsands pipeline to the west coast report that donations have soared in recent weeks — especially after Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said U.S.-funded environmentalists and jet-setting celebrities are trying to hijack the regulatory hearings.
"We've seen an unprecedented surge of support," said Emma Gilchrist of the Dogwood Initiative, a B.C.-based group which has received $12,000 in unsolicited donations since Oliver's letter.
"We've got cheques that say, in the memo section, 'Thanks to Joe Oliver.'"
Dogwood also got nearly 25,000 new signatures on its anti-tanker petition — more than it got all of last year. Traffic to its Facebook site increased 10,000 per cent.
"We're quite disappointed to hear the things coming out of the federal government, but it has brought people together," Gilchrist said.
They're not alone.