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November 29, 2019

Kathy Le, CUPE Local 2484 most active retiree, is the recipient of the 2019 Olivia Chow Child Care Champion Award. If you have been out to Toronto rallies about childcare, in support of the minimum wage or to end cuts to health care, you have probably seen Kathy with her flower bedecked bicycle, standing in the crowd. 

“She put us to shame,” said Olivia Chow who was on hand to present the award to Kathy. “Kathy protests with flare. You can’t make a revolution without art. Having taught children and loving them everyday for 19-years, Kathy was committed to taking down the government that would not give her a national childcare program.”

Kathy came to Canada over twenty years ago as a survivor of the Vietnam War, where she was an elementary school principal. As a newcomer, she earned her Early Childhood Education diploma and began her lengthy career at St. Lawrence Child Care Centre. Throughout her life, Kathy has always believed that children have a right to quality education and care, and that the workers who support them deserve respect and dignity.

“I found the workplace of my dream, a non-profit, unionized organization, a daycare with CUPE Local 2484,” said Kathy Le. “The union gave me the power to organize for decent work, decent pay with benefits for early childhood educators and childcare workers, which must be a priority.”

“For her to be so courageous and her dedication to children and justice, there’s no one I can think of who would be more deserving {of this award},” said Chow.

The selection of an individual or group recipient of the Olivia Chow Child Care Champion Award is based on exceptional achievement and union/community activism that incorporated and promoted childcare for all Ontarians. The first recipient was Olivia Chow in recognition for her leadership on childcare both in her earlier role as Toronto City Councillor and as a Member of Parliament.

 “This is one of the most significant moments of my professional career and my personal life. I’m very honoured and humbled,” said Le. “To Olivia, you are my role model, my mentor, in helping me strive in my role as an activist in promoting better childcare services that would benefit Ontario workers.”

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