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Blaney cites 'right-wing extremist' in Edmonton police shooting

OTTAWA - Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney is using the shooting death of an Edmonton police constable to argue that no government has been tougher on gun crime than the Conservatives.Blaney was at a Senate committee today where a Conservative bill that overhauls the rules around gun licensing and transportation is being rushed into law before the House of Commons rises for the summer recess and a fall election.A shoot-out in Edmonton on Monday night that killed one police officer and wounded another prompted Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson to question the elimination of the federal long-gun registry.Blaney says the Harper government is working with the firearms community to strike a balance between what he calls streamlining firearms paperwork and ensuring public safety.The public safety minister says he was shocked by the tragedy in Edmonton, which he described as a cold-blooded murder by a member of a right-wing extremist group.Justice Minister Peter MacKay, meanwhile, described the mayor's comments on the defunct gun registry as "ill timed," "unhelpful " and "absurd."Blaney says the Harper government over the last decade has done more than any other to create the most stringent laws against illegal gun possession and tough sentences for gun-related crimes.

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