Confederacy cash-in for Upper Canada Road?

A section of Upper Canada Road in South Dundas in December 2014. (Newswatch Group/File)

SOUTH DUNDAS – South Dundas is hoping Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation in 2017 will also be a windfall for Upper Canada Road.

The township is applying to the Canada 150 Fund for one-third funding ($300,000) to repair the road, with the hope the parks commission will also pitch in a third.

Repairing Upper Canada Road, which has bad dips and cracks in the asphalt, could be upwards of $1 million to repair.

The municipality learned in the fall it’s actually the owner of the stretch of road from Highway 401 to County Road 2, even though the St. Lawrence Parks Commission has been maintaining it.

The commission has indicated that it wants to shed its responsibility for the road.

The Government of Canada website describes the Canada 150 Fund as “a funding initiative that aims to promote Canadian values, culture and history, generate national pride and bring citizens together to celebrate Canada 150.”

“One of the guidelines in the application is there be some connection to Canada’s confederation,” CAO Stephen McDonald told council Tuesday night. “There is a connection with Crysler’s Farm…plus Upper Canada Village. So we are tying everything together,” he added.

As for other sources of money, Mayor Evonne Delegarde said the municipality hasn’t approached the provincial government about funding for the road because it’s a link to “a provincial tourist destination.”

The mayor says the parks commission is “definitely on board” with helping the township get some money because the road is getting year-round heavy use with more fall and winter events at Upper Canada Village, such as Pumpkinferno and Alight-At-Night.

However, there’s no commitment from the commission to come through with its $300,000 should South Dundas be successful, something that worries Marc St. Pierre. The councillor is concerned South Dundas could end up holding a bill for $600,000.

“The traffic count on that road (Upper Canada Road) is increasing all the time,” Delegarde added.

While there’s no firm deadline for the Canada 150 Fund, the government website says it can take up to 26 weeks to assess the funding application.

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