The Bunker Group
Considering Canada's position it could be argued that a Super Hornet fleet would be "good enough" for their requirements.
They are in a far more secure position than Australia so a decent fleet of general purpose strike aircraft able to rapidly integrate into NATO air campaigns would be the most logical option. A mixed fleet of F-18E/F (possibly even G?) should be cheaper than an equivalent F-35 fleet and be of sufficient quality to last for a few decades.
Of course they could become America's New Zealand and scrap their combat aircraft altogether.
Our legacy Hornets are 40 years old and any replacement needs to be viable for the next 30-40 years. A Superhornet 20 years from now will only be viable in uncontested airspace IMO. Frankly Canada might be better off getting out of the fast jet business if only second rate jets are to be considered. Take the fighter budget and buy 6 Virginias and some new air tankers/P-8s and fast track the new surface combatant ships.