Outdoor equipment store owner hopes to cut a path into Winnipeg mayoral office

The owner of a pair of outdoor equipment stores hopes to blaze a trail into the mayor's office.

Rick Shone, who owns The Wilderness Supply, running in mayoral race; Coun. Gillingham makes it official, too

A man in a dark bluish blazer and grey button-up shirt stands in a wilderness supply store.
Rick Shone, who owns outdoor equipment retailer The Wilderness Supply, is taking a step back from his stores in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay to run for mayor of the Manitoba capital. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

The owner of a pair of outdoor equipment stores hopes to blaze a trail into the mayor's office.

Rick Shone, who runs Wilderness Supply stores in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, registered Monday to run for mayor of the Manitoba capital.

Shone, 45, has never sought office before and says he's not affiliated with any political party. He said he's been contemplating a run for mayor of Winnipeg since 2017.

While the pandemic put those plans on the backburner — the demand for canoes, kayaks and camping gear skyrocketed when Canadians could not travel outside the country — Shone said he plans to take a step from his business, which employs 30 people, in order to mount a campaign to become Winnipeg's 44th mayor.

"I want to build a city that that people are proud to live in," Shone said Monday at his Winnipeg store after he registered his campaign. 

"Too many times I travel across the country and even the world and meet people in random places and we kind of like to pick on Winnipeg for various reasons. Sometimes it's in jest, but it actually really bothers me."

Shone did not reveal any campaign priorities or make any policy pledges on Monday. He said when he does make promises, he will aim higher than pledging to clear snow and fill potholes.

"They're functions of the city. We need to get those right, but we want to create a city that has opportunity for everybody. We want to create a city that people can feel comfortable living in [with an] affordable lifestyle, great quality of life."

Three of Winnipeg's last four mayors entered the job without political experience. Susan Thompson and Sam Katz were business owners, while Brian Bowman, the outgoing mayor, was a privacy lawyer.

Shone said he won't make the outsider candidate mistake of offering simple solutions to complex issues facing the City of Winnipeg.

"I just happen to be a business owner," he said. "I like to think that I run my business with integrity, competence and fairness and a great understanding of what service means for people. And those are the kinds of things that I plan on bringing to our city hall." 

St. James Coun. Scott Gillingham registered his mayoral campaign Monday. (Travis Golby/CBC)

A total of five mayoral candidates have registered their campaigns. The move that allows them to raise and spend money in accordance with city electoral rules.

St. James Coun. Scott Gillingham registered his campaign on Monday afternoon. 

He too held off on revealing any campaign pledges, opting instead to tout his skills as a diplomat who can work with other politicians.

"As we come out of COVID and now as we look forward, we need to unite, we need to come together and I believe I am the kind of person who can work with stakeholders, council colleagues [and] other levels of government," he said.

Business consultant Jenny Motkaluk, who finished second in the 2018 mayoral race, registered on Sunday. So did security company owner Don Woodstock, who finished fourth in 2018, and Chris Clacio, who registered to run for mayor in 2018 but did not complete the nomination process.

More candidates are expected.

Former Winnipeg Centre Liberal MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette said on Twitter he intends to register his campaign for mayor on Tuesday. Ouellette finished third in the 2014 Winnipeg mayoral race.

Business owner Shaun Loney plans to register on Wednesday.

River Heights-Fort Garry Coun. John Orlikow has declared a mayoral run but said he does not expect to register for several more weeks.

Winnipeg's mayoral race

1 year ago
Duration 1:54
Winnipeg's mayoral race is officially on. Five candidates are already in the race with more expected on Tuesday.


Bartley Kives

Senior reporter, CBC Manitoba

Bartley Kives joined CBC Manitoba in 2016. Prior to that, he spent three years at the Winnipeg Sun and 18 at the Winnipeg Free Press, writing about politics, music, food and outdoor recreation. He's the author of the Canadian bestseller A Daytripper's Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada's Undiscovered Province and co-author of both Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg and Stuck In The Middle 2: Defining Views of Manitoba.