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

Mowi’s B.C. salmon farms achieve environmental certification from independent watchdog

Aquaculture Steward Council certification complies with 500 sustainability and social measures

Island Health provides Baby Beds for infants north of the Malahat

A safe place for baby to sleep is key to reduce sleep-related deaths

Author chronicles churches built by pioneers in the Salish Sea

B.C. author Liz Bryan preserving a little bit of pioneer history in her latest book

North Island College president to retire next year

North Island College’s president and CEO has officially announced his plans to… Continue reading

UPDATE: Canadian Ferry Association cautions against politicizing BC Ferry operations

Reasonable safety, not politicized safety way to go, Canadian Ferry Association says

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Climate change is a “serious and immediate threat” to the 9,000-year old sponges: study

Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Climate change is a “serious and immediate threat” to the 9,000-year old sponges: study

Most Read