Chief of Defence Staff Tom Lawson will release the independent report on sexual misconduct and harassment today at 1 p.m. Mr. Lawson, who will be leaving his job as Canada’s top general in the coming weeks, ordered the external review last year when Maclean’s reported that there were approximately 178 incidents of sexual misconduct within the military investigated every year. The House Defence Committee questioned him about it at the time, but he said he needed more information. Former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps was appointed to lead the review, with a mandate to look into “the extent to which Canadian Armed Forces members report alleged incidents of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and if applicable, any reasons why reporting may not occur, including the role of military culture and the chain of command as it relates to the reporting of incidents.” Mr. Lawson will hold a press conference at National Defence headquarters in downtown Ottawa with Ms. Deschamps, Chief Warrant Officer Kevin West and Major-General Chris Whitecross. There will be a media lock-up from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Gannon Canadian World Press Freedom Day award winner AP reporter Kathy Gannon, pictured in Ottawa on April 28, will speak at the Canadian World Press Freedom Day luncheon today. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom will award Associated Press reporter Kathy Gannon with its annual award honouring a journalist who’s made an “outstanding contribution” to freedom of expression. Ms. Gannon, special regional correspondent for Afghanistan and Pakistan, will be speaking at the committee’s World Press Freedom Day luncheon today at 12 p.m. at the Chateau Laurier. “I think press freedom is so complicated and so many things affect press freedom and we in the press have to better define and understand who we are,” Ms. Gannon told The Hill Times. “Our freedoms are not about freedom of speech, our freedoms are not about freedom of expression, our freedoms are about the right to tell stories. I mean, without freedom of speech and expression we can’t do it, but that’s not who we are. We are not the champions of free expression, we are there to do a job and our job is to question, to inform, to learn and understand about our subject, and to chronicle history accurately so that future generations will look back and they’ll have an understanding of events in an accurate way.” Globe and Mail reporter Shawn McCarthy, president of the Canadian committee, said that the committee is “pleased” to give Ms. Gannon the Press Freedom Day Award. “Ms. Gannon has worked for years in Afghanistan and Pakistan to bring the world the stories of those people and the conflicts that constantly threaten their wellbeing. She has been both courageous and careful.” Ms. Gannon, a Timmins, Ont., native, was wounded last year in Afghanistan covering the national election. An Afghan police officer opened fire on her and German photographer Anja Niedringhaus while they were waiting in the back seat of a car. Niedringhaus died in the incident. “Since the attack, Ms. Gannon has travelled and spoken about press freedom, and the critical need for western journalists to cover foreign news from the point of view of the local populations,” Mr. McCarthy told The Hill Times. National action plan on violence against women needed: NDP MP The federal government should collaborate with provinces, territories, civil society and Indigenous people to develop a national action plan on violence against women, says NDP MP Niki Ashton (Churchill, Man.), who moved a motion in the House on April 28 on the issue. “This issue is as personal as it is political for me, my colleagues, and my community,” Ms. Ashton said during debate. “We have seen women, feminists, across the country make history to draw attention to the violence they face on campuses, on social media, in the workplace, and on our streets. Parliament must sit up and pay attention to the conversation women are having on the ground, in classrooms, online, and everywhere. It is our right as women to demand action from the government, and it is our responsibility as parliamentarians to respond and take action.” Ms. Ashton’s motion, M-444, calls for the federal government to address socio-economic factors contributing to violence against women, focus on prevention, collect and measure data and progress on the issue, conduct a national public inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, and invest human and financial resources “specifically to carry out the program of action set by the plan.” “Let us be clear. This is about the money. Governments choose to prioritize funding, and the violence against women sector is simply underfunded and has been for decades. It has not been prioritized by Liberal or Conservative governments,” she said. Conservative MP Joy Smith (Kildonan-St. Paul, Man.) said the government already created an action plan as result of the recommendations from the Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women. “We keep hearing about how we should have a national inquiry. I, too, have visited many reserves and aboriginal communities across the country. I took with me a lot of the reports that had been already been done. Forty reports have been done, examining the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women. There has been study after study done. We know what the problem is,” Ms. Smith said during debate. “Through this action plan, we have taken action to improve the situation and the violence against women, particularly aboriginal women.” The government’s plan states that it will be spending $200-million over five years starting this year to address “family violence and violent crimes against aboriginal women and girls.” It includes funding for “community safety plans,” for “projects to break intergenerational cycles of violence and abuse by raising awareness and building healthy relationships,” for “projects to engage men and boys and empower women and girls,” for services to victims, and for creating a DNA-based missing persons index, among others. “This is a phenomenal action plan. No longer do members have to call for a national action plan, we have an action plan. It is right here with all the components that can be used, embraced and supported by all members of the House,” Ms. Smith said. Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Ont.) said that her party will support the motion. “Today's motion offers an opportunity for all the parties in this House to come together and agree on a sensible and effective path forward. The motion clearly outlines what the necessary components of an effective action plan to end violence against women here in Canada must include,” she said. In case you missed it The House of Commons defeated Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger’s (Ottawa Vanier, Ont.) private member’s bill, C-624, to make Canada’s national anthem gender neutral. Mr. Bélanger wanted to change the English lyrics of the anthem from “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command.” On Wednesdays, MPs sing O Canada prior to beginning the House’s business and Mr. Bélanger sang “in all of us command.” The bill was voted on yesterday in which 127 MPs supported the bill. Mr. Bélanger said while the bill did not pass, the issue of a gender neutral national anthem was moved forward. “Though we have not been successful numerically, the drive to make ‘O Canada’ more inclusive has been advanced,” Mr. Bélanger said in a statement. “I remain committed to an inclusive anthem.” On the agenda (all times local) Events The late Senate Speaker Pierre Claude Nolin’s funeral will be held today at 2 p.m. in Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, Que. Governor General David Johnston will attend. Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, Alta.) will deliver remarks. Famous Five Ottawa is hosting a luncheon to honour Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, pictured left. 11:45 a.m., National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Ont. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright Conservative MP Lois Brown (Newmarket-Aurora, Ont.) will host a breakfast reception with RESULTS Canada and the Micronutrient Initiative to highlight “Live Below the Line” which challenges people to eat and drink on $1.75 a day. Liberal MP John McKay (Scarborough-Guildwood, Ont.) and NDP MP Hélène Laverdiere (Laurier-Sainte Marie, Que.) will also be there. 8 a.m., room 216-N Centre Block. 4-H Canada youth will be on the Hill for a conference called Canada: Where Do We Stand? Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz (Battlefords-Lloydminster, Sask.) will host a luncheon reception for the group. 12 p.m., Commonwealth Room Centre Block. Minister of State Gary Goodyear (Cambridge, Ont.) will deliver a keynote speech at Canada Makes: Additive Manufacturing Forum, hosted by Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters and Mohawk College. 8:45 a.m., Hamilton, Ont. Press conferences Liberal MP Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Que.) will discuss the Global Iranian Political Prisoner Advocacy Project during the launch of Iran Accountability Week. Green Party Leader Elizabeth May (Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.), Conservative MPs James Bezan (Selkirk-Interlake, Man.) and John Weston (West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, B.C.), NDP MP Wayne Marston (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, Ont.) and Liberal MP Marc Garneau (Westmount-Ville Marie, Que.) will also attend. 11 a.m., Charles Lynch Press Theatre 130-S Centre Block. The Canadian RV and camping industry will speak about small business and infrastructure needs. 10 a.m., 130-S Centre Block. Announcements Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt (Madawaksa-Restigouche, N.B.) will make announcement on First Nations infrastructure at Whitecap Elementary School at 11:15 a.m. Whitecap Dakota, Sask. House committee hearings Former House Speaker Peter Milliken, pictured above, will appear before the Procedure and House Affairs Committee at 11 a.m. in room 112-N Centre Block for the committee’s review of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright The Citizenship and Immigration Committee will meet at 8:45 a.m. in room 253-D Centre Block to continue its study on Bill S-7, Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act. The Finance Committee will continue its study on terrorist financing in Canada and abroad at 8:45 a.m. in room 268, 151 Sparks St. The Public Safety Committee will meet at 8:45 a.m. in room 228, 151 Sparks St., to continue its study on Bill C-42, Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act. The Foreign Affairs Committee will continue its study on the protection of children and youth in developing countries at 11 a.m. in room 306, 151 Sparks St. The Human Resources Committee will meet at 3:30 p.m. in room 228, 151 Sparks St., to continue its study on the potential of social finance in Canada. The International Human Rights subcommittee will meet at 1 p.m. in room 253-D Centre Block to discuss the human rights situation in Iran. Photo of the day Jordanian King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein met with Governor General David Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper yesterday. He's pictured at Rideau Hall during the inspection of the guard of honour. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade.