The decision over whether to approve Teck Resources’ Frontier oilsands mine in Alberta has brought the federal Liberals to a crossroads in their pursuit of economic growth and a cleaner environment.

One path leads to more jobs but a despoiled environment; the other to lower greenhouse gas emissions but rising Western alienation and lower tax receipts.

As director Woody Allen noted in his film Side Effects, when forced to choose between utter hopelessness and total extinction: “Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”

It is a defining moment in the life of this government.