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How a new government impacts business in Saskatoon

SASKATOON – A day after a sea of red swept across Canada, members of the Saskatoon business community were left wondering what changes would come from a newly-elected Liberal majority government. The shift in power is a welcome change for the Saskatchewan Compassion Club, a non-profit community retailer that connects people with a prescription and supply of marijuana.

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“[Tuesday] morning, we wake up without the imminent threats that we had lobbied against us under the Conservative government,” said the group’s founder, Mark Hauk.

His morning also included a number of phone calls from around Canada, with people looking to get into the marijuana industry. Even though the Liberals have pledged to legalize recreational pot, he’s cautioning would-be entrepreneurs.

“There’s a ton of regulations – that are very important regulations – that need to be fleshed out before we roll out and say marijuana is now legal,” Hauk said.

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A change in the prime minister’s office also means new relationships between governments. In a statement, Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison congratulated the winners of the Saskatoon ridings.

“I have had the opportunity to work with two federal governments. We developed a good working relationship with the previous Conservative government and the Liberal government before that,” Atchison said.

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The city might see more bridges, road work and transit as a result of the Liberal promise of three-straight budget deficits to grow the economy.

Members of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce would like to see the new government involved in public-private partnerships (P3) for a wider range of projects.

“We think it got a little regimented, frankly, where there was only a certain scale of project that would fit,” said Kent Smith-Windsor, executive director for the chamber.

The next federal government will also be tasked with handling the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The twelve-country trade deal will be “pretty important for Saskatchewan,” according to Smith-Windsor.

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