Here's the scenario. Air patrol over the vast, empty Arctic. February. A long, long way from the nearest airbase. Suddenly warning lights turn the instrument panel into a Christmas tree. One F-35 pilot out of luck.
Since Canada first took to patrolling the far north we knew the job required a twin-engine aircraft. We used the CF-100 Canuck, the CF-101B Voodoo and the CF-18 Hornet. We once knew that the vast Arctic was no place to run out of engines. Apparently Harper and MacKay know better.
My guess is that the air force won't put our pilots lives at more risk than necessary. In other words, if we do wind up with the F-35s, don't ever expect them to venture very far from their home base on patrols.