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

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

A grateful community

Another community convoy to thank health care workers is planned for April 5

Forestry Ink: Introduced, not invasive species

Columnist Jim Hilton writes about animals that are considered invasive

Quesnel businesses can apply for 2020 façade improvement grants

In 2019, the City helped five businesses through the Northern Development Initiative Trust program

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

How to cope with your mental health during a global pandemic

Becca Shears, clinical counsellor in Vanderhoof speaks about ways to deal with stress and anxiety during this time.

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Most Read