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

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

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

A vehicle rolled over off of the Highway 3 off ramp into the Home Hardware parking lot Jan. 21, 2021. Photo: Betsy Kline
Driver sent to hospital after vehicle roll over in Castlegar

Accident happened Thursday around 4:30 p.m.

Interior Health has set up a COVID-19 testing site in Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
No new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in Castlegar for Jan. 10-16

The latest localized BCDCD COVID-19 numbers

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Long-term care staff and physicians from the priority group received their first dose of Moderna vaccine on Friday, Jan. 15, including Dr. Corrine Knox. Photo: Submitted
Moderna vaccine arrives in Castlegar

Vaccine rollout began in West Kootenay with long term care residents and staff the first recipients

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Volunteer firefighters from Grand Forks Fire/Rescue head towards the scene of fatal car crash near Gibbs Creek Road, below Highway 3, Thursday evening, Jan. 21. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Motorist dies in Highway 3 crash west of Grand Forks

City first responders were called to the scene Thursday evening, Jan. 21

Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram could be playing for Colorado when the NHL resumes play. (Rik Fedyck/file)
Cranbrook product Bowen Byram makes NHL debut with Avalanche

Highly touted prospect marks first pro game following World Junior tournament in Alberta

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Most Read