News of the expected delay comes as the government is moving ahead on the purchase of used fighter jets from Australia instead of brand-new Super Hornets from Boeing to temporarily bolster Canada's CF-18 fleet.
Industry sources say the Trudeau government is preparing to push back the expected delivery date of a new fighter jet to replace Canada's aging CF-18 fleet.
Canada was in the midst of negotiations to buy the Boeing-made F/A-18s for an estimated $5.15 billion, but the country put talks on hold after the defense contractor in April filed a complaint with the U.S. Commerce Department against Canadian company Bombardier.
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Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has said Canada can not meet all of its obligations to the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with its current fleet of CF-18s, arguing new fighter jets are needed before the entire fleet is replaced in the next decade. RCAF now operates an ageing fleet of CF-18 fighters, which is due for replacement sometime in the next decade. "It has to be a two-way street, there has to be this mutually beneficial relationship for it to be one that grows, one that both sides are happy and excited about".
Ottawa says Bombardier is the latest victim of Donald Trump administration's trade policies, seeking to impose stiffer import penalties on a number of Canadian industries that Washington accuses of receiving government subsidies.
The move to try to acquire fighter jets from Australia coincides with the USA government's decision, based on a Boeing complaint, to hit Bombardier with nearly 300 per cent duties on its CSeries civilian passenger jet.
In response, the Commerce Department in September imposed a almost 220-percent preliminary tariff on the C-series, but a final decision is not until 2018.
In September, Boeing International president Marc Allen, talking to the Globe and Mail, invoked Boeing's $4 billion worth of annual business and 17,000 jobs in Canada, and said: "If Canada kicks Boeing out, I think that will be deeply unfortunate for us both".
Bombardier denies any wrongdoing and says Boeing can not prove it was harmed by the Canadian company's actions because it did not offer Delta any planes of its own. "Unfortunately, I think they're taking advantage of a [political] context that's favorable to them". Ottawa has slammed the company for not acting as a trusted partner.