Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

A professor who once worked with an RCMP intelligence official charged with breaching Canada’s secrets law says the man seemed to be an “exemplar of discretion.”

Paul Evans, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia, says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee and worked with him on several projects.

Ortis, 47, was arrested on Thursday and charged under three sections of the Security of Information Act as well as two Criminal Code provisions.

He’s accused of trying to disclose classified information to a foreign entity or terrorist group.

READ MORE: Mounties lay secrets-law charges against one of their own

An insider familiar with the case, but not authorized to speak about it publicly, has said Ortis had served in a civilian position as director general of an RCMP intelligence unit.

Evans says he worked with Ortis at UBC over the course of several years, and they later met socially from time to time.

He says that after Ortis took up his RCMP position in Ottawa, he never discussed the specifics of his work.

“He did not discuss the details of his work and throughout was an exemplar of discretion and integrity in our interactions,” he said in a written statement.

“Nothing in my experience with Cameron would lead me to suspect he would be any way involved in activities that would lead to such charges,” he added. “Like others who know him well, I was shocked by the news of the arrest of a very fine Canadian.”

Ortis had been a political science graduate student starting in 1999, finishing his PhD at UBC in 2006, Evans said. The pair worked together on training programs for junior researchers from policy institutes in Asia, which included two essays they published together.

Evans said the essays, published in 2002 and 2003, were about ways “the internet was being used for positive and negative purposes in the region.”

Another UBC colleague, political science professor Brian Job, has also said he was surprised by news of Ortis’s arrest.

“Nothing in my experience with Cameron would lead me to suspect his alleged involvement in the activities for which he charged,” Job said on Friday. ”Indeed, the exact opposite is true.”

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

Our View: Province needs to crack down on COVID-spreading events

Illicit parties and rule-breaking gatherings need to be stopped

Langley City corrections officer rides for cancer cure

Even in the midst of the pandemic, the Cops for Cancer Tour de Valley will go on

Many questions for Langley teachers as return to school approaches

Immune-compromised teachers are among those waiting to hear about plans

LETTER: Trudeau wasting tax dollars on vacation home upgrades, Langley man says

Renovations costly to prime minister’s official government vacation property

Summerset keeping ‘live music alive’ with weekly outdoor concerts at Fort Langley eatery

Sundays in August will see a ticketed audience of no more than 50 seated with social distance

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Missed rent payments ‘cause of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due.

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

35,000 doses of fentanyl part of huge Maple Ridge bust

Largest seizure in RCMP detachment’s history included submachine gun, body armour

Most Read