The problem the government faces now is this: If it has a plan B, it has not been very clear about what that is, and what its costs and benefits are. Indeed, Defence Minister Peter MacKay has warned that “cancelling the contract now could result in an operational gap, where if, around the year 2017-’18 when we’re starting to take delivery of the F-35, our F-18s are going to be taken out of use.”
As I have mentioned back in November, the F-35 is disqualified as a CF-18 replacement. The F-35 program will be lucky to have a go-to-war aircraft ready by the early 2020's.
That will be the next error for the Canadian government to acknowledge.