On Campus

Ottawa, institutions at odds over stimulus funds

This could get messy:

Ottawa has clashed with university leaders and some provinces over its insistence that a $2-billion infrastructure plan be used on science and technology projects rather than on wider needs defined by the schools.

Ontario schools and politicians in particular have lobbied the Harper government in recent weeks to disburse the money using a provincial formula that would ensure all colleges and universities get a slice of the pie to use as needed.

However, the federal government insists the money be used on projects benefiting science and technology.

The issue has the earmarks of a traditional federal-provincial conflict, with Ottawa trying to enhance its area of jurisdiction – the right to make industrial policy – while the provinces protect theirs – education.