Cameron Ortis, a senior intelligence official at the RCMP, leaves the courthouse in Ottawa after being granted bail, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. Ortis is accused on charges of violating the Security of Information Act and breach of trust for allegedly disclosing secrets to an unknown recipient. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Alleged RCMP secret leaker must stay with B.C. parents while on bail

Cameron Ortis, 47, is charged with violating the Security of Information Act

Cameron Jay Ortis, a senior RCMP official accused of breaching Canada’s official-secrets law, walked out of an Ottawa courthouse Tuesday after being released on bail with strict conditions.

Under the terms, Ortis will have to live with his parents in Abbotsford, B.C., must report to the RCMP once a week and is forbidden from using any device that connects to the internet.

Ortis, 47, is charged with violating the Security of Information Act and breach of trust for allegedly disclosing secrets to an unknown recipient and planning to reveal additional classified information to an unspecified foreign entity.

He faces a total of seven counts under various provisions, with the alleged offences dating from as early as Jan. 1, 2015 through to Sept. 12 of this year.

Unlike the case for many criminal offences, Ortis had the burden of demonstrating why he should be freed on bail while he awaits trial on the secrets-law charges. No trial date has been set but Ortis is due back in court in Ottawa on Nov. 5.

Evidence at the bail hearing and reasons for the decision by Justice of the Peace Serge Legault are subject to a publication ban.

The bail conditions require that Ortis and his parents, who are acting as sureties, each post a $125,000 bond.

One of his parents must be in the B.C. residence with him at all times and accompany him on outings.

All phones, computers and tablets in the home must be password-protected and locked away when not in the possession of Ortis’ parents.

In addition, Ortis cannot attend any place that has public internet access, is forbidden from possessing weapons and must surrender his passport.

His lawyer, Ian Carter, said little after the hearing but escorted Ortis, wearing a blue dress shirt and black-rimmed glasses, out of the courthouse.

The Security of Information Act, passed following the 9/11 attacks on the United States, is intended to safeguard sensitive government secrets. Charges have been rare but Jeffrey Paul Delisle, a naval officer who gave classified material to Russia, pleaded guilty to offences under the act in 2012.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki has said the allegations against Ortis are extremely unsettling, noting that as director general of the force’s National Intelligence Co-ordination Centre, he had access to information from domestic and international allies.

Lucki told a news conference last month that investigators came across documents during a joint investigation with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation that led the Mounties to believe there could be some kind of “internal corruption.”

The commissioner said Ortis had a valid Top Secret clearance — which must be renewed every five years — but he had not undergone a polygraph exam, a test which measures physiological signs such as heart rate and breathing that might indicate deception.

It turns out the RCMP does not use the polygraph for security clearances, even though a 2014 federal standard requires a lie-detector test for the highest security category, known as enhanced Top Secret.

READ MORE: Security-clearance backlogs bedevilled RCMP as employee allegedly leaked secrets

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Thompson Community foundation spreads the wealth

Funds will be used by recipients for various operations and programs

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Clearwater food bank receives donation from tree planting group

Dynamic Reforestation out of Williams Lake donated $1,400 in light of International Hunger Day

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Williams Lake RCMP capture fugitive walking along Highway 97 in city limits

Witness said they could hear police yelling for suspect to ‘get down’

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Limit gun capacity to five bullets, victims group urges Trudeau government

Current limits are generally five bullets for hunting rifles and shotguns and 10 for handguns.

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Most Read