A senior member of the RCMP has been charged under Canada’s national security laws.
Cameron Ortis, who has worked in intelligence for the RCMP, has been charged under three sections of the Security of Information Act, and with two Criminal Code offences.
Mounties confirm these allegations are in relation to activities while Ortis was an employee of the force. Reports suggest he was arrested on Thursday.
In a release, the RCMP says Ortis is facing charges under Section 14(1) of the Security of Information Act, Section 22(1)(b) of the Security of Information Act, Section 22(1)(e) of the Security of Information Act, Section 122 of the Criminal Code, and Section 342.1(1) of the Criminal Code.
The charges are not in relation to the federal election or the SNC-Lavalin affair, reports suggest. While few details are being released, Stephanie Carvin — a national security expert at Carleton University — says this has the potential to be an extremely serious situation.
“He would have had substantial access to large amounts of information, not just from the RCMP but potentially other Canadian intelligence and security units,”
The Security of Information Act deals with cases of espionage involving foreign powers, and is in place to safeguard sensitive government information.
These charges are rarely used, but back in 2012, Jeffrey Delisle — a former Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Navy — was convicted under the Act after selling secrets about Canada to the Russians.
Ortis is expected to appear in court in Ottawa on Friday.