On Friday Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney weighed in on the issue of oil and the so-called Dutch disease.
Carney said Alberta's oil industry, and Western Canada's resource economy more broadly, has benefited all of Canada - not just the West.
Carney was shooting back at federal NDP leader Tom Mulclair's controversial comments about oil sands development inflating the Canadian dollar, hurting the competitiveness of manufacturing exports.
It's a message that sold well in manufacturing-dependent Ontario and Quebec, which are the strongholds of NDP support. After all, who doesn't like a good scapegoat?
Carney said Friday that the loss of $18 billion in manufacturing exports between 2002 and 2008 was made up almost entirely by $16 billion in additional interprovincial trade. Essentially, while Canada is facing the same challenges that manufacturing in all industrialized nations are facing -low-cost competition from countries like China - Western Canada's economic engine is why Windsor, Ont. doesn't look like Detroit.
On the same day, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver was in Vancouver to tell British Columbians how safe oil pipelines are in Canada.
Oliver's comments clearly are meant to diffuse environmental concerns about the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and expansion of the existing Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline.
Canada can cash in on lucrative oil markets in Asia, while keeping rivers and coastlines squeeky-clean, Oliver said.
Oliver rattled off a laundry list of regulations which, he says, mean the Fraser River won't be the next Kalamazoo and the Douglas Channel won't be the next Prince William Sound.
However Bill C-38, which was passed in June, undermines Oliver's claims. The legislation cuts the departments charged with enforcing environmental regulations and streamlines the review process for new projects.
The Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline clearly will benefit the Canadian economy, and just as clearly includes an element of environmental risk.
Whether to take that risk is, at its core, the fundamental question of modern politics: to what extent should economic growth be emphasized relative to, or at the expense of, social and environmental issues?
That question has been the dividing line for American voters choosing between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. While polls have shown most Americans believe Obama is more in touch with the needs of average Americans, Romney is seen as a better manager of the economy.
It's the same question B.C. voters will weigh as they make their decision between Liberal, Conservative, NDP and Green Party candidates in next year's election.
The issue of economy was the deciding factor in Prince George's municipal election and the federal election in 2011.
Municipally, provincially and federally Prince George is represented by predominantly right-wing politicians. It's a trend which is repeated throughout much of the developed world, as voters responded the Great Recession of 2008-2012.
The core belief of right-wing thinking is that if the economy is doing well, than individuals can take care of their social needs themselves and the state can afford social and environmental programs.
Prince George has seen the benefit - in the form of pulp mill and natural resource sector jobs - and paid the price of right-wing thinking. The foul miasma of industrial stink which hung over the city on Saturday morning is part of the environmental, social and health cost of the city's economic prosperity.
In some places, like Quebec and France, we've seen push back against the global right-wing trend. Left-wing philosophy emphasizes social -and now environmental - initiatives as a way to create a healthier, more productive society. That in turn will drive economic growth.
Both strategies can be successful when applied in the proper place at the correct time. Unfortunately for voters, knowing if you're in the proper place and at the correct time is difficult. Politicians will always tell voters it's the right - or left - time for their brand of socio-enviro-economic philosophy.
Whether to swing left or turn further right is the choice millions of Americans and British Columbians will be making in the next year. Hopefully they make the correct choices for where and when they are.
-- Associate news editor Arthur Williams