Rockford Rutledge, owner of Canadian GunHub, aims to grow and diversify business in Medicine Hat if elected as a member of city council.
Rutledge moved to the city in 1997 to attend Medicine Hat College. In 2000 he was working in the oil field where he stayed for about 17 years, most of them in Australasia.
“When the oil field collapsed, I decided to start a small business,” Rutledge said.
The Dunmore GunHub is both a gun retailer and an indoor shooting range. Rutledge says his four sons, ages 22, 20, 9 and 7, all love his business.
Rutledge says events surrounding the establishment of his store have driven his interest in city politics. He says the city turned down his request to build in Medicine Hat.
“Not because there was any sort of regulation or restriction, they just said no to something new,” Rutledge said. “It was never even presented to the board, they just stopped at planning and development.
“This is one of the things that I’m going to work very hard for is to diversify Medicine Hat and allow businesses to come in, whether new or old, and to get there, be it by zoning or helping them in other ways.
Rutledge says his goal is to bring industry and business to Medicine Hat by developing an inventory of industrial land and making the city more attractive to manufacturing companies and other large industries.
“If an industry is going to come to Medicine Hat, we currently have nowhere to put it. You’d have to have zoning, you’d have to put them somewhere, you’d have to have utilities in the ground, ”said Rutledge. “If you have the inventory that you can bring into the business, if you have the business, you can bring in the people and the city grows.”
Rutledge wants the city to use incentives to attract more businesses.
If elected, Rutledge wants to work closely with Invest Medicine Hat.
“They are a powerhouse for attracting business,” Rutledge said. “I would draw closer to these and encourage their plans to become a reality.”