James Bezan was raised on a farm near Inglis, Manitoba and is a graduate of Olds College in Alberta. James and his wife Kelly have three daughters; Cortney, Taylor, and Cassidy, and live on a farm by Teulon, Manitoba. James is a member of the Teulon and District Lions Club and his family is active in their church. In addition to being a cattle producer, James has held various positions in agri-businesses, as well as owning an export and consulting company.
On June 28th, 2004, James was first elected to the House of Commons in the 38th Parliament as a Conservative Member of Parliament to represent the riding of Selkirk-Interlake. During his time in Opposition, James held the positions of Associate Agriculture Critic and Executive Member of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association.
With the support of his constituents, Mr. Bezan was re-elected on January 23rd, 2006, October 14, 2008 and on May 2, 2011 to represent Selkirk-Interlake for four consecutive terms. Mr. Bezan is proud to be a member of the Conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
As a member of government James has served as Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food; Chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development; Chair of the Manitoba Conservative Caucus; Chair of the Canadian Section of the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA); and Secretary of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Mr. Bezan currently serves in the 41st Parliament as the Chair of the Standing Committee on National Defence, and was re-elected as the Secretary of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group and executive member for the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas. During the 41st Parliament, James founded the Canadian Parliamentarians for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran, which is an all party group. Member of Parliament Bezan was presented the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
In 2008, Mr. Bezan received one of Ukraine's highest awards for his private member's bill that recognized the Soviet-imposed Holodomor forced famine of 1932-1933 as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people. Ukraine's highest civilian award, the “Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise” was awarded to James on the basis of a decree by the President of Ukraine as a recognition for the people who have made a historic contribution on behalf of Ukraine.
For his work on numerous Ukrainian issues, Mr. Bezan has also received awards and recognitions from organizations in Ukraine, and from Canada's Ukrainian community, such as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv, Kyiv City Organization of the All Ukrainian Memorial Society of Vasyl Styus, Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Canadian Friends of Ukraine, The Ukrainian Professional and Business Club of Winnipeg, the League of Ukrainian Canadians and the League of Ukrainian Canadian Women.
Mr. Bezan is a strong supporter of our armed forces and is proud of the brave men and women who have served, and who are currently serving, in the Canadian Forces. Rural development, environmental protection and agriculture are also high on James’ list and he has consistently been an advocate for sustainable rural development and meeting the needs of our agriculture producers.