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Peter Kent casts his eyes forward.

Canada, which has committed to roughly matching U.S. efforts on fighting climate change, is watching carefully as the Obama administration rolls out new emission rules for power plants and refineries. Mr. Kent said Canada will draw up its own emission standards for petroleum refineries – including oil-sands facilities – but added there’s no schedule yet. “Our focus for the next several years is going to continue to be on maintaining the economic recovery and we will do nothing in the short term which would unnecessarily compromise or threaten to compromise that recovery,” Mr. Kent said. “It is not our intention to discourage development of one of our great natural resources. We know it can be developed responsibly.”

… The minister added that he plans to follow up a Conservative pledge to regulate pollutants by unveiling a proposal – “I hope some time this year” – for national air-quality standards based on a provincial agreement reached in 2010 by his predecessor. This would include rules for public reporting, modelling and monitoring air quality.

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