The federal Liberal government pushed all its political buttons on Tuesday in Halifax with a funding announcement that promoted innovation, immigration and infrastructure.

The stop at Dalhousie University by two federal cabinet ministers also provided the chance to throw a slap at the previous Conservative government into the mix.

"Science is back," said Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and Economic Development Canada.

The federal government announced $5.7 million in funding for Canada research chairs and another $8 million in other supports for research at Dalhousie.

"The war on science is over. We really want scientists to be proud of their work, to talk about their work," Bains said.

Liberals showcase immigrant researcher

One of the funding recipients is Pedram Sadeghian, an Iranian-born scientist researching better ways to make concrete and other infrastructure materials.

Sadeghian came to Nova Scotia seven years ago for post-doctoral research at Dalhousie before heading to the United States. He was lured back to Dalhousie with a position as a Canada research chair that will pay him $100,000 a year for five years.

Navdeep Bains

Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada Minister Navdeep Bains speaks during a stop at Dalhousie University. (CBC)

He is examining the use of fibre in strengthening concrete and is one of six Dal researchers receiving new research chair funding.

"I always wanted to come back. That was the platform that brought me back. It's very exciting. I'm making my life here," Sadeghian told CBC News.

Nova Scotia's representative in the federal cabinet, Treasury Board president Scott Brison, singled out Sadeghian as the type of researcher the region needs.

"He is an example of immigration being central to innovation. With our demographic challenges it's something we certainly view as priority in Atlantic Canada needs," Brison told an audience assembled at Dal's heavy structure laboratory.

The Liberals have promised $60 billion in new infrastructure spending over the next decade.

Brison: Nova Scotia's federal godfather

Brison and Bains held another innovation event on Monday where $2.7 million in funding was announced. Earlier on Tuesday, the pair participated in a closed-door roundtable on innovation.

For Brison, this week's funding announcements signal his presence as Nova Scotia's federal godfather, a role played in the last government by Brison's old rival, Peter Mackay.

The two ran against each other in 2003 for the Progressive Conservative leadership. Mackay won and Brison later crossed the floor to become a Liberal minister in the Martin government before spending a decade on the opposition benches.

On Tuesday, Brison rejected the suggestion he is playing the role of godfather.

"This is not old-style politics, this is a focus on investing in innovation and creating the jobs of tomorrow," he said.

Achieving 'global leadership'

Bains said the Liberal government is serious about fostering more innovation in the region.

"In which areas do we want to succeed? Infrastructure is very important, we are making investments here [at Dalhousie] but we can also play a global leadership when it comes to infrastructure. These investments speak to that collaboration globally," Bains said.

Tuesday's event at the Dalhousie heavy structures lab was not the first by a federal cabinet minister. Federal Conservative science and technology minister Ed Holder visited the lab twice, a Dalhousie official noted.