OTTAWA, Dec. 5 -- Canadian leaders poured on Thursday their condolences upon the death of Nelson Mandela, former President of the Republic of South Africa.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement that the world has lost one of its great moral leaders and statesmen, adding that Mandela modeled how peoples can transform their own times and in doing so, their own lives.
"Despite his long years of captivity, Mr. Mandela left prison with a heart closed to calls for a settling of scores," Harper said. "Instead, he was filled by a longing for truth and reconciliation, and for an understanding between all peoples."
On behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians, Harper extended the condolences to Mandela's widow, Graca Machel, his entire family and all citizens of South Africa.
"Canada, a nation that granted Mr. Mandela honorary citizenship in 2001, mourns with you and the entire world today," Harper added.
Canada's Governor General David Johnston praised Mandela as the very best examples of humanity in history.
Johnston said in a statement that Mandela held strong beliefs and did not give up on his dreams, and that he was a driving force for change and cared for the well-being of others.
"We have all learned so much from his fortitude, dedication and compassion," Johnston said. "Throughout his life, he overcame many hardships to become a powerful global figure for peace and equality; the legacy he leaves cannot be understated."