RCMP charge head of intelligence unit with allegedly leaking government secrets

A senior civilian employee at RCMP’s headquarters in Ottawa has been charged by his own force with violating national security by allegedly leaking government secrets.

Cameron Ortis, 47, is accused of multiple violations under the Security of Information Act and the Criminal Code, including sharing “intentionally or without authority” special operational information; possessing a device or software for the purpose of concealing information or surreptitiously sharing or obtaining information; and breach of trust.

Late Friday, Global News reported that the United States had tipped off Canadian authorities, sparking the investigation. Ortis’ arrest, Global reported, was part of a larger international security roundup and other arrests outside of Canada were expected.

According to Ortis’s limited online presence, he lists his occupation on LinkedIn as “Advisor” to the federal government and obtained a PhD in international relations and political science at UBC in 2006. It also says he speaks Mandarin.

The Security of Information Act was passed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and was first tested in 2012 when RCMP naval intelligence officer Jeffrey Delisle was charged under the act for selling secrets to Russia. During a period of five years, Delisle received 23 payments totalling more than $70,000, the judge found. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released on parole in 2018.