Bob Besner was born in Ontario into a family of dairy farmers. He attended school in Cornwall and graduated from the University of Ottawa. He enrolled in the Canadian Forces while at school and was commissioned as an officer upon graduation.
Mr. Besnerís military career saw him living and working in every region of Canada as well as in Europe. After 25 years as an air force officer, he retired in 1996 as a Lieutenant-Colonel and the last Commandant of the Canadian Forces Officer Candidate School.
Since 1996, Mr. Besner has served in a number of national projects and has been very active in many community organizations. He serves on the board of Chilliwack Community Services and has been its president for five years. He was the first chair of the Chilliwack Social Research and Planning Council and was a member of the Chilliwack Mayorís Committee on Downtown Social Issues. Mr. Besner is also a Rotarian and has enjoyed serving on numerous committees since 1999.
He has also enjoyed a number of leadership positions on projects such as the 1997 Asia Pacific Economic Conference, the 1999 Pan American Games, the 2001 National Census, and the 2002 G8 Summit. Mr.Besner has been involved in past political campaigns, was a director of a local federal riding, and was recently the membership chair for the new riding of Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon.
He has three grown children and has lived and worked in Chilliwack since 1992.