One of the communities supporting the Coastal Gas Links (CGL) pipeline say it is creating jobs and reducing the number of people on social assistance.

Executive Director for Witset First Nation, Lucy Gagnon said the band is partnered with companies Kyah Resources to create jobs for the project.

“We still have quite a large client list on social assistance, and we are doing training right now as we speak in first aid and security.”

There are 10 people from Witset employed in the initial startup construction with more job opportunities expected as the project progresses.

“If we can reduce our social assistance clientele that’s good for our community as well,” said Gagnon.

The community received $1.5 million to sign onto the project and an additional $1.5 million after it started.

Gagnon said until they decided how to invest the money it is remaining in a savings account.

Witset is not the only First Nations community to benefit from the project.

According to CGL, the project has awarded $620 million in contract work to northern British Columbia (B.C.) Indigenous businesses for the project’s right-of-way clearing, medical, security and camp requirements.

To qualify CGL Spokesperson Suzanne Wilton said companies need to be “at least 50 per cent owned or controlled by the respective First Nation or a member of that First Nation.”

The project has received a lot of backlash from the Wet’suwet’en Nation whose land the pipeline is slated to go through.

They return to court on May 31 to present their case for stopping the pipeline.