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

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop donation bin runneth over

Volunteers now working toward a reopening soon with protocols in place

Man found dead in his tent at Chemainus homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Simpson staying sharp for the baseball call

Pirates’ Chemainus player scraps initial plans for Houghton College in New York

CBIA ad campaign a business booster

Great to learn more about the people serving the community

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

Most Read