The Super Hornet is by far the best alternative for Canada and will keep the RCAF operational for the next 25 years -- a critical timeline for future drone warfare. By then, Boeing and Lockheed Martin will most likely have some workable unmanned fighter drones; a great option for Canada to keep constant surveillance in the Arctic and its coasts.
To what extent is a given budget cut driven by ideology? The introduction of the omnibus crime bill and the elimination of the gun registry are red meat tossed to the Conservatives' electoral base. What other programs will need to go in order to satisfy this core constituency?
What advantage would nuclear subs give Canada? Well, we could better detect Russian subs under Arctic ice. What would we do if we detected Russian subs? Well, we could inform the CBC which would relay the fact to Canadians. Would we consider torpedoing a Russian sub? Good gracious no!
We will gladly spend $9 billion on F-35 fighter jets, ostensibly to help patrol our Arctic airspace and keep it Russian-free. What we will not do is spend real money on higher education for people in the North. For instance, the Canadian government quietly slashed funding for the University of the Arctic.