Chair of CUPE Ontario’s Social Service Sector, treasurer of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, member of the Equal Pay Coalition and an anti-poverty activist, Carrie Lynn understands that affordable, public child care is the key to closing the gender pay gap and lifting families out of poverty.

“I walk in the footsteps of many powerful child care champions,” said Carrie Lynn, when accepting her award at the OFL convention on Tuesday. “We are at an important point in the fight for truly affordable, publicly run child care that meets the needs of all children.”

She pointed out that recent government announcements for new child care spaces would only meet the needs of two out of five Ontario children. She also highlighted that private companies being traded on the TSX are trying to get their hands on the funding for those spaces, diverting money from services to shareholder profits.

“We must be vigilant that all public funding goes only to publicly run, not-for-profit child care services,” Carrie Lynn said. “We must create a system where every child that needs care gets a space in a fully regulated, public child care center.”

Carrie Lynn recognizes that a strong sustainable child care system is dependant on the workers that provide the care. The chronically low wages in this female dominated sector has lead her to combine her work as a child care advocate with the fight to erase the gendered wage gap that exists in Ontario.

“These issues are intrinsically linked,” she said. “If we are ever going to close the gender pay gap we need a robust child care system and if we are going to have a robust child care system the workers need to make enough to live on.”

“It is our collective responsibility to make sure this happens,” she concluded, thanking the delegation for honouring her with the award.