- Associated Press - Monday, September 16, 2019

TORONTO (AP) - The head of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police force said Monday the national police force has been “shaken” by the arrest of one of its senior intelligence officers and said he had access to information from Canada’s allies.

Authorities arrested Cameron Jay Ortis last week and alleged he tried to disclose classified information to a foreign entity they didn’t specify. Ortis had served in a civilian role as director general of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police intelligence unit.

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said in a statement Monday the Mounties are assessing and trying to mitigate the possible damage. Lucki said Ortis worked for the RCMP since 2007 and given his senior position he had access to intelligence coming from Canada’s allies both domestically and internationally.

“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,” Lucki said.

The 47-year-old was charged under three sections of the Security of Information Act as well as two Criminal Code provisions, including breach of trust.

Lucki said the charges “have shaken many people throughout the RCMP, particularly in Federal Policing.”

She added she was limited in what she can say because the matter is before the courts.

Ortis earned a doctorate in political science from the University of British Columbia, completing a dissertation on the international dimensions of internet security.

The Security of Information Act, ushered in following the 9/11 attacks in the United States, is intended to safeguard sensitive government secrets. Charges have been rare but Jeffrey Paul Delisle, a naval officer who gave classified material to Russia, pleaded guilty to offenses under the act in 2012.

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