Trudeau and I both love to Canoe. Great.

This topic is making the news as of late. Even got a rant from Rick Mercer. 

And now this Harper left over is on the table, the TPP. I am very curious to see what PM Trudeau is going to do.

This is what I am hoping he will do.


Dear PM Justin Trudeau

This past election Canada had the highest voter turnout since 1993.

In part, I believe that happened because of you.  You are all the things they say you are; charming, relatable, likeable, dedicated, honest, helpful, real …. some might say AKA Canadian. Thank you for stepping up to be the new face of Canada.

The other part, and I believe it was the larger driving force, is our emotional, physical, mental and spiritual exhaustion. This is not an easy world to live in, and not because the world is confusing, information is everywhere, you can find the answer, but because it is perplexing. Perplexing is defined as “completely baffling; very puzzling.” If you look up baffling, you’ll see “impossible to understand; perplexing.” We are living in a world that is impossible to understand.

We have identified the problems but we are not solving them.

The 1% still exist.  IDed as the root cause of most of our issues, too much in the hands of too few. Today online at there were two titles right next to each other. “Liberal Cabinet Meets Amid Gloomy Economic News” and  “62 Richest People Now Hold as Much Wealth As The Poores 3.5 Billion.”  I can see the solution, can you?

Canada is selling military goods to Saudi Arabia. Making vehicles for war instead of vehicles for Green Transportation. No sunny days for the Middle East and no sunny skies for the GTA as we continue our DVParkway crawl.  People in factories can have jobs building anything. Why are we choosing to continue to build this way? I hoped you would be the one to start the saying ‘No More.”

I always say, I would only get into politics if I could be a dictator, a benevolent dictator, but a dictator nonetheless. I am so frustrated that the left leaning parties never produce any dictators. Always the fanatical, far right parties. Why? Why not be a benevolent dictator , you just won a majority government! (Ask Harper how much fun one of those can be ….. you can really make a lot of change in a little time).

Please start saying No. We are.

I could go on and on here but I feel that a quote from the “Meet Justin Trudeau” page off the the Liberal Party’s website sums it up perfectly.

“We are dreamers, innovators, builders. We know that in Canada, better is always possible. And we deserve a government that knows that too.”

These words fall over our PM Justin Trudeau as he canoes away into some beautiful Canadian Wilderness.

The gestures have been lovely so far but now I want real action.
Thank you
Tanya Bruce


An Open Letter to the Prime Minister of Canada

Dear Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Please reinstate the long form census. We are the second largest country in the world and Ottawa needs to know what is going on in order to develop it well.

Please protect 97% of our water. It is a finite resource and it needs to be treated as such.

Please allow our Scientists to speak freely when it is the best interest of our country. Let them speak out against your decisions and oil. And listen to David Suzuki, he deserved the Nobel Prize not Al Gore (sorry Mr. Gore, nothing personal).

Please do something real with the findings from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We have known the truth for years and we need real solutions.

Please help protect our First Nation Women. They are an important part of our society and we need to show them we really mean that.

Please do something better than pipelines for energy. It is 2015 and the answers are out there. I read about them all the time, just never in government documents. Let us become leaders in clean energy and really honor our First Nations right to live a traditional life.

Please sign us back up to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. As of 2013 there are 196 countries because we left. This made Canada the first country to announce its intention to withdraw. This Convention may not find all of the solutions but Canada needs to be a part of the global conversation. If we dig a little deeper into the root causes of wars in countries like Syria, Yemen and Sudan we will see that the loss of arable land plays a role.

Please put us back in the Kyoto Protocol. Again there are 192 countries working together and Canada is not one of them. Maybe just take a look at everything Peter Kent touched and think about reversing what he did.

Please reinstate The Office of Inspector General at CSIS and rework bill C-51. I understand that there is a need to protect us from Terrorists, but that word is being used too easily, and without enough checks and balances. As a Gay Canadian, I get nervous when there is not a lot of oversight in deciding who is a threat to our way of life.

Please don’t prorogue Parliament. I have to go to work even on days when I wish I didn’t have to.

Please change the Fair Elections Act and rope in taxpayer-funded political ads. If you want me to know how great your government is doing, build a school, some bike lanes or invest in Green technology and health care. We don’t need another 45 second sound bite.

Please keep your eyes on the Canada-China treaty (FIPA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), from the reading I have done, I don’t see how either serve us well in the long run.

Please bring back funding to CBC or arts in general. Canadians really like knowing what other Canadians think, believe, create and do. That’s one of the beautiful side effects of growing up in a mosaic.

Please spend half as much money on our veterans as you do our on military technology. I understand that wars are always going to be raging and we need the technology to be able to help others in their time of need but we also need to be able to support the men and women who return home carrying the emotional scars of that battle. Reopen the nine veteran services offices that were closed by our previous government.

Please change our global relationships so the next time the UN Security Council elects new members we can return to that table. 2010 was the first time we did not win our bid to be a part of the Council and in 2014 United Nations Security Council election we did not even bother to put our hand up. Canada was a founding member of the United Nations, and it, like all forms of governance is not perfect, and because of that fact, not in spite of it, we need a seat at the table. Historically we have been known as one of the ‘good guys’ and I would like that image to be returned to us.

Please put us back in as UN Peacekeepers. We created the Blue Hats and it seems to me we’ve forgotten that.

Please take a look at the Senate. It is our sober second thought and the last year of scandals has been rather sobering.

Please don’t take money from EI to balance the budget. That money is there because we the tax payers put it there. It is our slush fund not yours. In a time when job security is nonexistent, I will breathe a little easier knowing that if another recession comes crashing down on us there is enough money in the bank to help out Canadians.

Please spend our money on us. We have been running deficits since 2008 but I don’t see how I have benefited.

Please change the way we count our votes or convince the left merge together, making it a two horse race. Since a merger not likely, please protect us from having 39% of those who voted elect a majority government. Not only does that math not make sense it is embarrassing living in a country that allows that to happen. First-past-the-post voting works in a 2 party system, give us proportional representation, a ranked ballot, something! I would like to feel like I have a voice in Canada each time I check a box for the Green Party.

Please apologize to Zunera Ishaq. She showed her face to an official to confirm her identify, she passed the entire test for Citizenship in our country, she did everything we asked of her. She is a Canadian and no Canadian deserves to be targeted by a politician for political gain.

Please be open to conversations with me. You work for me, I am a Canadian.


Tanya Bruce






Up Up and Away

I started this blog just over 3 years ago and it has morphed and changed a number of times. I have enjoyed this space and this identity, UrbanPraire, but it feels like it no longer suits my purpose.


I am the proud new owner of

So heres to turning 40 and following your dreams! More information on that as it unfolds but in the mean time if you have enjoyed this site feel free to follow along on instagram under Live Small Think Big.




Camp Just Broken In feels way more comfortable

imageJuly 1st to September 30th is my 3 month sabbatical. I have spent the bulk of it working up on my land and I am impressed by how much can be done when I am up there on a regular basis. It is definitely feeling a lot more livable and a lot less broken.

Vroom Vroom … Here I Come!


 I have never really understood the desire to own a car. Roughly 25% of its value disappears the moment you drive it off the lot and in order to run it you are tied to a volatile energy source that is linked to pollution, health problems and wars. I do understand the need for vehicles. I love my auto-share programs (some things you just can’t bring home on a bike) and road trips are beautiful thing.

One of my goals in life was to not own a car until I was 40 years old and I have made decisions in order to protect that goal.

Deciding to buy land has made me need a car which I am good with. On June 4th I bought my very first car! 2 months before my 40th birthday but I am still declaring victory on my goal and am over the moon with my Honda Element!

Check out number 9 – Top 10 Lesbian Cars!

Back to the beginning

I have hired an architect and have learnt that as much as I love my 3D model and my idea for small space living, I am not an architect. So back to the drawing board with the Ginger Shack plan.

The deck is out and a 10 X 10 concrete slab is in

The fireplace is out and a vented propane fireplace is in

The idea of not going over 14 feet is out and I am likely building a 18 foot tower and will be able to stretch out in any space I find myself in

My magical kitchen/stair area is out and I am awaiting to see the new option

The closet on the main floor is out

Here is to being flexible and to lucking out and finding a brilliant co-designer!!

Realizing that I am small

and that my land is big and that Mother Nature even bigger.


 The area in front of the tent is a complete mud pit with no hopes of drying up so 3 drains are going in, the ground has to be graded and 10 more large trees need to come down so more and more sunshine can pour in and the mosquitos breeding grounds can dry up.

The deck did not settle evenly and there is a 2 inch slope down to the one corner. If you ever drop anything at least you know where to start the searching. That will have to be fixed – thinking a car jack and a couple of patio slabs should do the trick but maybe not.

I won’t be building my little artist studio this year but I will be finishing one kick ass campground and starting the prep work for the Ginger Shack to be built the following summer.

After all these years I know that it is not about sticking to a time line but not losing sight of the end line.


Persistence and Patience ….

Paid off!! I have landed my architect and could not have imagined one better!

He not only hit on my basic requirements; knowledgeable, interested in small space living, located in Canada, one I could afford,  he is also politically and socially aware, a believer that moving towards renewable energy is the solution and loves cats (really loves them).

This bio on LinkedIn … Sole practitioner doing architectural design of various scales, as well as architectural renderings. No project too small or too weird.

This is one of his designs. I think we are going to have a good time building the Ginger Shack together.

moose faucetMy friend put me on to and I am so grateful he did!

I am over the moon. Thank you, thank you, thank you Universe and John!!


Hipster Bric a Brac and Trendy Trinkets

I emptied out my storage locker and realized that I have a lot of random things. Childhood memories, 1/2 started or daydream projects I never got around to doing, pieces of ‘art’ I still love but have no where to hang and so on ….

Hoping to sell most of it tomorrow!




Time to get 3D!

First there was the tape on the floor. I had to physically be in the space to have any idea of how to design the space. Once I felt like I had a grasp on the design I transferred everything over to grid paper and worked out the dimensions.

Final step – a 3D model!

3Dgingershack1As strange as this may sound this was the first time I realized how incredibly small my space is going to be. Once all the walls became real and had to attach to each other there was a ridiculously large closet on the main floor and an insanely big wood burning stove. I have taken a foot off the closest and have moved from the Grand Cook Stove to a much smaller wood burning stove.

3Dgingershack33Dgingershack2View from the top … and space for Tigger!

3Dgingershack4Next step – will it stand the test of an architect/carpenter’s input…..

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