OTTAWA – The Canadian Press has learned the RCMP does not give lie-detector tests to employees undergoing top-level security screenings despite federal rules that require such examinations.
The revelation comes as the national police force assesses the damage from possible leaks by one of its most senior intelligence officials.
Cameron Jay Ortis, 47, faces charges of violating Canada’s official-secrets law for allegedly trying to pass classified information to adversaries.
At a news conference last month, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said Ortis had a valid “top secret” clearance — which must be renewed every five years — but he had not undergone a polygraph exam, a test that measures physiological signs such as heart rate and breathing that might indicate deception.
It turns out the RCMP does not use the polygraph for security clearances, even though a 2014 federal standard requires a lie-detector test for the highest security category, known as “enhanced top secret.”
The category includes personnel who have access to sensitive law-enforcement or intelligence-related operational information — the sort of secrets Ortis would have been privy to as director general of the RCMP’s National Intelligence Co-ordination Centre.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 10, 2019.