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

Just Posted

Vancouver Island firefighters showcased on Discovery Channel

Second season of Hellfire Heroes premieres Oct. 22

Birders flocking to Greater Victoria after rare warbler sighting

Tiny bird draws big audience to Panama Flats

Guilty verdict for man accused of setting fire to his Esquimalt rental property

Wei Li was arrested at airport with burns to face and hands

App designed to help cut waste and grocery bills

Food security advocates say addressing poverty is ultimate key

Sidney Mayor issues apology over removal of Queen portrait

Cliff McNeil-Smith says he never intended to permanently remove or replace it with First Nations art

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Man seriously injured after fall from Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge

Police say incident stands as public safety reminder

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Vancouver Island writer Linda Tenney dies after battle with cancer

Celebration of life set for Nov. 2 in Qualicum area

Most Read