If you're wondering why the Liberals haven't cancelled the armoured cars deal with Saudi Arabia and why they haven't simply dismissed Stephen Harper's raft of future appointments, think the courts and think money. Michael Harris writes:
So here is Trudeau’s dilemma. His preoccupation these days seems to be avoiding costly lawsuits. He is refusing to cancel the $15 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which I am certain offends every bone in his body. There was a contract involved and cancellation would have certainly led to a major court battle.
So far, he has not moved precipitously on Harper’s conniving and reprehensible “future appointments” because that too would almost certainly lead to major lawsuits. He is hoping at least the honourable ones might step aside without having to be forced out. But let’s face it, the Harper Conservatives and honourable behaviour are not often found in the same area code.
It's all about honouring contracts and paying when you don't honour them. The same principle applies to Harper's appointments to the National Energy Board:
One of the people appointed to the NEB was Steven Kelly, a Calgary oil executive. Kelly was a former consultant on contract to Kinder Morgan. According to Mychaylo Prystupa writing in the National Observer, Kelly authored Kinder Morgan’s report to the NEB justifying the $5.4 billion Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion.
Unless Kelly voluntarily steps down from this misbegotten appointment, he will be advising the Trudeau government on the same project he was paid to promote. Thanks to Harper’s devious and unethical appointments, the NEB is now fossil-fuelled for years to come. Harper has appointed all but one of the Board’s members.
It will cost a lot of money to negate the contracts Mr. Harper signed. And, when it comes to wasting money in court, the Harper government has an unenviable reputation. The CBC reported back in April that the Conservatives spent $4.7 million losing 15 court cases.
It appears that Mr. Harper will use the courts to even up the costs of his legal battles.