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

Tofino’s Crystal Cove crowned top family destination for second year in a row

TripAdvisor has announced the recipients of its Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best awards.

COVID-19: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation asks Tofino businesses for support as emergency funding runs dry

“We need to pay for the work they do. It’s such important work.”

DFO says the five aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Canada can lead the way to save sharks from extinction, says fisheries expert

“Combined with fishing extraction numbers, sharks experience huge losses in the environment.”

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Cowichan’s Dillabaugh checks in from the NHL bubble in Toronto

Flyers’ Duncan-born goalie coach weighs in on hockey restart

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Most Read