Sparks have been flying between the PQ government and the Grand Council over the policing question in Cree communities.

Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come refused to attend a press conference organized for Oct. 26 where a policing agreement was to be signed. The photo op was to be attended by Grand Chief Coon Come, Premier Jacques Parizeau, federal Solicitor-General Herb Gray, provincial Public Security Minister Serge Menard and David Cliche, the PQ’s native-affairs advisor.

“Everything was ready,” Cliche lamented to reporters after finding out that the Grand Chief wasn’t going to attend. “You’ll have to ask him the reasons,” he snapped to the reporters.

Bill Namagoose said the press conference was little more than a public relations exercise for the new PQ government. “We have more respect for the premier than to just come to a photo opportunity orchestrated for public relations reasons,” he told the Gazette.

Namagoose said Crees have a problem with Parizeau’s decision to hand over responsibility for native affairs to Cliche, who isn’t a cabinet minister and thus has no binding authority.