12/05/2013 05:19 EST | Updated 02/04/2014 05:59 EST

Nelson Mandela one of world's great moral leaders, PM says

Canadian politicians are heaping praise on Nelson Mandela as the world reacts to the death of the human rights icon.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted his respects.

"All of Canada mourns with the family of Nelson Mandela and the citizens of South Africa. The world has lost one of its great moral leaders," Harper wrote.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair called Mandela "an extraordinary example of indomitable courage and faith."

"It is a rare individual whose reputation for wisdom transcends time," Mulcair said.

"New Democrats join others around the world in mourning the loss of this exceptional man."

Gov. Gen. David Johnston was one of the first Canadian officials to tweet his condolences.

"It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of #NelsonMandela. A powerful global symbol of peace and equality," he wrote on Twitter.