Former gun advisory panel chair Jack Major felt he 'wasn't serving any purpose'

OTTAWA — A former chairman of the federal advisory panel on firearms says he found the committee to be a well-meaning but ultimately pointless exercise because members were not allowed to do their own research.

Jack Major, a retired Supreme Court judge, says he wrote twice to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale about the need to hear witnesses and gather facts on gun-related issues, but got no reply.

In an interview, Major says he felt he wasn't serving any purpose and the committee was effectively being told what the government had already decided to do on the firearms file.

Major's comments come a day after vice-chair Nathalie Provost resigned from the committee in frustration over lack of federal action to restrict assault-style rifles.

A spokesman for Goodale says the committee examined all elements of last year's gun bill before its drafting and provided valuable insights to the government.

Major says committee members might have been briefed on the legislation, but were not involved in deciding or recommending what the bill should say.

© 2019 The Canadian Press