Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, recipient of a prestigious Canadian literary prize, announced this week he is donating the $25,000 award to a grassroots coalition against TransCanada Corporation's "Energy East" pipeline.
His challenge to people across Canada and the world to double his contribution to the group Coule Pas Chez Nous (Don’t Let it Flow in Our Backyard) has resulted in a flood of donations totaling at least $326,000 (in Canadian currency), with more money continuing to pour in.
Nadeau-Dobois achieved a high profile as an organizer of Quebec's "Maple Spring" student movement in 2012. In October of this year, he took part in a large protest in the town of Cacouna, Quebec against TransCanada's proposed Energy East pipeline, which would be the largest tar sands pipeline yet, aimed at transporting the oil across the country to terminals in Quebec and New Bruswick.
The proposed pipeline has faced broad opposition from Indigenous peoples and other communities along its route.
"Quebec, hand in hand with First Nations, must not renounce to being master on its own land," Nadeau-Dubois wrote in a Tuesday article published in Montreal paper Le Devoir.
Nadeau-Dubois was granted the prize by Johnston, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in Canada for a book he wrote chronicling the 2012 student strikes, entitled Tenir Tête.
In a Facebook message posted Tuesday, Nadeau-Dubois said he was pleasantly surprised by the strong response to his call. "Your solidarity fills me with hope," he wrote. "For now, the fundraising campaign is continuing. We're not giving up anything."