About James Bezan
James Bezan has been successfully elected seven times as a Conservative Member of Parliament since 2004, with his most recent electoral victory in the riding of Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman. Over the course of his parliamentary career, he has chaired the House of Commons Standing Committees for Agriculture and Agri-Food (2006-2008), Environment (2008-2011), and National Defence (2011-2013).
As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence from 2013-2015, Bezan was active on files dealing with military procurement, mental health issues in the Canadian Armed Forces, the war against ISIS, and Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Bezan was the Conservative Shadow Minister for National Defence and the Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence from 2015-2021, the Deputy Opposition Whip, Strategic Advisor and Co-Chair of Question Period Planning and then Shadow Minister for Ethics. He now serves again as the Conservative Shadow Minister for National Defence.
During his years in Parliament, Bezan has fought strongly for marketing freedom for Western Canadian farmers and ending the long-gun registry. He was instrumental in leveraging over $35 million for protecting Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba. Bezan has also raised awareness of skin cancer and the carcinogenic dangers of using tanning equipment. He also co-sponsored Bill S-226, Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law), which enables Canada to independently impose sanctions, travel bans, and asset freezes on corrupt foreign officials and human rights abusers.
Bezan has also been a very outspoken critic on the issue of Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and protecting Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and human rights. As a result, he was one of thirteen Canadian officials sanctioned and banned by the Russian government in 2014. For his work on Ukrainian issues he has been recognized with numerous awards both in Canada and abroad, including the ‘Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise’ (Ukraine’s highest civilian award) for his private members’ bill to recognize the Holomodor as genocide.
Before public life, Bezan worked in the livestock industry and still lives on the farm near Teulon, Manitoba. He and his wife Kelly have three daughters and three grandchildren. Bezan is a member of the Teulon and District Lions Club and is active in their church.