It's kinda hard to say...but if CPAir and Wardair hadn't gotten into the financial mess leading to Canadian's plight, then it's a fair bet that PWA would've still tried to buy up CPAir, as PWA wanted to become an international airline, not really because of serious financial problems at that time. But Wardair Canada would have still been independent for a long time if Max Ward hadn't run into problems, too.
If Wardair was alive as an airline today, it'd probably have a fleet of A310-300s, MD-11s(to replace DC-10-30s), and MD-83s(Max Ward did actaully consider ordering them) and possibly 747-400s. Yet it's hard to say, as Canada's low population doesn't allow much of a market for three major scheduled carriers, so Wardair might have ended up getting taken over by CP or AC, or worse, gone under.
Imagine! If CPair had successfully opposed PWA's bid to take it over, like what AC did against Onex! CPAir might have decided not to change its c/s for a while(maybe till the early '90s), instead, it could've just changed the title to Canadian Pacific Airlines in order to maintain international recognition. It did changes its c/s and the title just before PWA took it over. It could've have had a fleet of 737-300/500s, some 737-200s(for northern ops, as they can operate from small airports with only short gravel airstrips. And they can tolerate extremely cold weather better than most jet a/c.), 767-200ERs and -300ERs, 747-400s(They would've looked cool in the orange and red CPAir colors!), and maybe a few MD-11s! CP could also have taken up A320s and A319s ,and probably 737-600s, -700s and -800s.
PWA might have been either bought up by CPAir, instead of the other way around, to augument domestic and transborder services. Because of Canada's low population, especially out west, there definitely wouldn't have been enough room for three major airlines! Really intense competition could very well have resulted in serious financial losses for PWA, unless it was taken over by CPAir and managed wisely(unlike what they really did with Canadian now these days). Its large fleet of 20 or so 737-200s would've mostly been replaced by the 737 Classics, leaving some over for a northern subsidiary.
For a glimpse of what might've been...
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Photo © Pierre Langlois
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Photo © Caz Caswell
CPAir did actually have a few 737-300s for a short while! Even I was surprised by the one in the red and orange c/s!