Bezan in 2014
|Official Opposition Critic for National Defence|
|Assumed office |
November 20, 2015
|Preceded by||Jack Harris|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
June 28, 2004
|Preceded by||Howard Hilstrom|
|Chair of the Standing Committee on |
21 June 2011 – 28 October 2013
|Preceded by||Maxime Bernier|
|Succeeded by||Peter Kent|
|Chair of the Standing Committee on |
3 February 2009 – 20 June 2011
|Preceded by||Bob Mills|
|Succeeded by||Mark Warawa|
|Chair of the Standing Committee on |
2 February 2007 – 2 February 2009
|Minister||Chuck Strahl |
|Preceded by||Gerry Ritz|
|Succeeded by||Larry Miller|
|Born||May 19, 1965|
Russell, Manitoba, Canada
|Spouse(s)||Kelly Murray Bezan|
|Profession||cattle rancher, international sales, crop adjuster|
Early life and career
Bezan was born May 19, 1965 in Russell, Manitoba Bezan attended Olds College in Alberta where he majored in livestock technology in the Agricultural Production program. Bezan worked in the livestock and cattle industries in the 1980s and 1990s, and started his own company in 1996. He served as Chief Executive Officer of the Manitoba Cattle Producer's Association, and has sat on boards in the fields of cattle and food production. He also operates a family farm near Teulon, Manitoba.
In opposition, Bezan served on the executive of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association, and as the Conservative Associate Agriculture Critic.
In the 38th Canadian Parliament, Bezan tabled Motion, M-309 which sought to increase benefits for parents of critically ill children. This motion became law within Government Bill C-44 in 2012 which proposes a new Employment Insurance (EI) special benefit for parents who take time off work to care for their critically ill or injured children.
Between 2006-2015 as a member of government, Bezan 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.
Bezan has advocated marketing choice for Western Canadian grain farmers and fishermen. As a longtime and outspoken opponent of the long-gun registry, Bezan was pleased when the registry was ended. Bezan has also been instrumental in securing over $35 million in funding for the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative in Budgets 2007 and 2012.
In the 39th Canadian Parliament, Bezan passed Private Member’s Bill, C-459, An Act to establish a Ukrainian Famine and Genocide ("Holodomor") Memorial Day and to recognize the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide. This Bill established the Ukrainian Famine and Genocide ("Holodomor") Memorial Day and recognizes the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33 as an act of genocide. Ukraine's highest civilian award, the "Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise" was awarded to Bezan on the basis of a decree by the President of Ukraine as recognition for the people who have made a historic contribution on behalf of Ukraine.
Bezan's wife Kelly has survived melanoma skin cancer on a number of occasions. Bezan, who also used artificial tanning equipment, tabled a Private Member's Bill, C-497 in the 40th Canadian Parliament, to strengthen warning labelling on tanning beds on the carcinogenic risks from radiation caused by tanning equipment.
In first session of the 41st Parliament, Bezan served as the Chair of the Standing Committee on National Defence, and was elected as the Vice President of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group and executive member for the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas. During the 41st Parliament, Bezan founded and co-chairs the Canadian Parliamentarians for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran, which is an all-party group.
In the 41st Canadian Parliament, Bezan introduced two pieces of legislation. The first was Tanning Equipment Prohibition and Warning (Cancer Risks) Act (Bill C-386). This Bill influenced the Government to put warning labels about the health risks of indoor tanning on tanning equipment in February 2013. In February 2013, Bezan tabled Bill C-478, The Respecting Families of Murdered and Brutalized Persons Act. This Bill seeks to extend the parole eligibility period for those convicted of the abduction, sexual assault and murder of an individual.
On September 19, 2013, Bezan was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence. He began the 2nd session of the 41st Parliament with this role.
Throughout his time in Parliament, Bezan has worked on Ukrainian and Iranian human rights and democracy issues. Bezan travelled with Prime Minister Harper to the Ukraine in 2010 and 2015 and has served as an election monitor in the last four Ukrainian elections. Bezan lobbied to have the Iranian embassy shut down and have the MeK delisted as a terrorist organization. Both of these actions by Bezan were acted upon by the Government of Canada during the 41st Canadian Parliament.
Bezan was one of thirteen Canadians banned from traveling to Russia under retaliatory sanctions imposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2014. He replied through his official Twitter feed, "Sanctions by Russia will not silence me standing up for Ukraine. This is a badge of honour for all critics of the Crimea Invasion."
Elections Canada dispute
The Speaker of the House of Commons received a request from Elections Canada to suspend Bezan as an MP in June 2013 over an alleged failure to properly claim the cost of advertising signage he erected while MP. The Speaker made a ruling on June 18, 2013, in response to a question of privilege, to have the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) review this issue. On February 5, 2014, Bezan and Elections Canada came to an agreement on a corrected campaign return. In a statement on his website, he said:
I am pleased to say that Elections Canada has agreed with the commercial value of my MP signs I submitted in my corrected campaign return on May 5, 2013 at $518 per sign. My final campaign return for the 2011 election is below the allowable election expense limit, and my personal contributions are also below the allowable limit. As a matter of fact, the total difference between my corrected return filed on May 5, 2013 and my final return is only $458."
|2015 Canadian federal election: Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman|
|New Democratic||Deborah Chief||5,649||11.4||-13.66||–|
|Libertarian||Donald L. Grant||882||1.8||+1.67||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||49,363||100.0||$226,474.11|
|Total rejected ballots||216||0.30||–|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|2011 Canadian federal election: Selkirk—Interlake|
|New Democratic||Sean Palsson||10,933||26.5||+1.8||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||41,184||100.0||–|
|Total rejected ballots||160||0.4||-0.1|
|2008 Canadian federal election: Selkirk—Interlake|
|New Democratic||Pat Cordner||9,506||24.7||-12.3||$19,306|
|Christian Heritage||Jane MacDiarmid||295||0.8||+0.3||$424|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||38,442||100.0||$99,730|
|Total rejected ballots||177||0.5||+0.2|
|2006 Canadian federal election: Selkirk—Interlake|
|New Democratic||Edward Schreyer||16,358||37.0||+10.5||$56,920|
|Independent||Duncan E. Geisler||277||0.6||–||$3,516|
|Christian Heritage||Anthony Barendregt||204||0.5||-0.4||$5,043|
|Total valid votes||44,219||100.0||–|
|Total rejected ballots||154||0.3||-0.1|
|2004 Canadian federal election: Selkirk—Interlake|
|New Democratic||Duane Nicol||10,516||26.5||+6.6||$41,939|
|Christian Heritage||Anthony Barendregt||353||0.9||+0.5||$10,799|
|Total valid votes||39,637||100.0||–|
|Total rejected ballots||193||0.5||+0.2|
- "James Bezan". lop.parl.ca. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- Special Coverage 2011 Election
- Steinbach Online "Gov't Package Coming For Beef Producers"
- I Channel #FAQMP I Channel #FAQMP "You ask, we listen, they answer." Archived 2014-03-25 at the Wayback Machine
- Ledwich, Sean. Stonewall Tribune "Bezan takes Teulon boy's story to Ottawa"[permanent dead link]
- CBC News "Mulcair endorsed by former governor general Ed Schreyer"
- "Former GG Schreyer to run for NDP"
- I Channel #FAQMP I Channel #FAQMP "You ask, we listen, they answer" Archived 2014-03-25 at the Wayback Machine
- I Channel "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2013-07-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Interlake Today "Bezan named chair of environment committee"
- Portage Online "New Chair For Manitoba Conservative Caucus"
- Ukrainian Echo UCC CONGRATULATES NEW CHAIRMAN OF CANADA UKRAINE PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP ROBERT SOPUCK Archived 2013-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
- Water Canada "Deadline Extension for Lake Winnipeg Stewardship Fund"
- Forrest, Michael. Sun News "Harper pledges to save Lake Winnipeg" Archived 2012-08-04 at the Wayback Machine
- Mosher, Jim. Enterprise News "Bezan recognized for efforts on behalf of Ukrainian-Canadians"
- Capital News Online "Debate heats up on tanning bed use for minors" Archived 2013-07-17 at the Wayback Machine
- Robbins, Heather. Interlake Today "Bezan lauds Canadian Medical Association tanning resolutions"
- Brigg, Hayley. Interlake Today. "Bezan named Chair of National Defence Committee"
- Ukrainian Canadian Congress "UCC Congratulates New Chair of CUPFG – Ted Opitz, M.P."
- National Post "Irwin Cotler and James Bezan: Putting names to Iran’s persecuted voices of dissent" www.nationalpost.com Archived 2013-07-02 at Archive.today
- Interlake Today "Bezan Denounces Tanning Beds in Honour of World Cancer Day"
- Interlake Today "Bezan's Bill Up for Debate"
- "MP James Bezan appointed parliamentary secretary to minister of national defence".
- National Post "Irwin Cotler and James Bezan: Putting names to Iran’s persecuted voices of dissent" Archived 2013-07-02 at Archive.today
- Nash Holos "Canadian MP speaks out against Ukrainian government's recent attack on Tymoshenko"
- Interlake Today "Bezan overseeing Ukraine Election"
- Interlake Today "MP Bezan visits ukraine with prime minister harper" Archived 2013-07-02 at Archive.today
- Interlake Today "Bezan supports terrorist list changes"
- Susana Mas (March 24, 2013). "Russian sanctions against Canadians a 'badge of honour'". CBC News. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- Horgan, Colin (2013). "Speaker Scheer boots Bezan and Glover's fate into PROC's hands". ipolitics.ca. Retrieved June 18, 2013.
- James Bezan, MP "BEZAN VINDICATED IN ELECTIONS CANADA DISPUTE" Archived 2014-02-10 at Archive.today
- "MP James Bezan says he's settled dispute with Elections Canada over campaign expenses".
- "Voter Information Service".
- "Elections Canada Online - Final Candidates Election Expenses Limits". Archived from the original on 2015-08-15.