RCMP commissioner calls charges against top intelligence official ‘extremely unsettling’

Canada World

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki says the force is still trying to understand the fallout of allegations levelled against one of their top intelligence officials and that RCMP officers are “shaken” by the charges.

Cameron Ortis, director general of the RCMP’s national intelligence coordination centre, was arrested late last week and charged with preparing to share either safeguarded or operational information with a foreign entity or terrorist group in the past year.

He’s also charged under the rarely-used Securities of Information Act with communicating special operational information back in 2015 and faces two Criminal Code charges.

“By virtue of the positions he held, Mr. Ortis had access to information the Canadian intelligence community possessed. He also had access to intelligence coming from our allies both domestically and internationally,” said Lucki in a statement Monday, confirming reports Friday and over the weekend describing the work Ortis did.

“While these allegations, if proven true, are extremely unsettling, Canadians and our law enforcement partners can trust that our priority continues to be the integrity of the investigations and the safety and security of the public we serve.”

Lucki pointed out that the investigation is still ongoing and said the case has “shaken many people throughout the RCMP, particularly in federal policing.”

“We are assessing the impacts of the alleged activities as information becomes available. We are aware of the potential risk to agency operations of our partners in Canada and abroad and we thank them for their continued collaboration,” she said.

“We assure you that mitigation strategies are being put in place as required.”

Ortis, 47, is back in court later this week.

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