04/10/2014 09:59 EDT

Jim Flaherty's Work Ethic 'A Wake Up Call For All Politicians'

Former finance minister Jim Flaherty's colleagues are praising him as a Parliamentarian who worked hard — and maybe a little too much.

Employment Minister Jason Kenney, who reportedly clashed with the former finance minister over Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in November, offered praise for his former caucus colleague and a warning.

"I think it’s a cautionary tale for all of us in public life. You’re going like he was 100 miles an hour year after year after year with such massive pressure. To suddenly slow down ..." Kenney said at a news conference before he spoke off microphone.

Conservative Senator Don Meredith was similarly complimentary of the former minister. He saw Flaherty taking a stroll in Ottawa's Byward Market area on Tuesday evening, where they shook hands for the last time.

"I think it is a wake up call for all politicians in terms of when it is time to say goodbye, so you can carry on with your life, and shed all the stress that comes with being a public figure," Meredith told The Huffington Post Canada.

Flaherty's death sent waves of emotion through political circles across Canada. Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed MPs following the death alongside his wife Laureen, who wiped away tears as he spoke.

After finishing his remarks, Harper went to greet a visibly upset Dr. Kellie Leitch, the minister of labour and minister of state for the status of women.

Leitch was one of the last people to see Flaherty, having administered CPR to the former finance minister as she waited for paramedics to arrive at his Ottawa condo on Thursday, the Citizen reported.

Flaherty had opened up about his health to Leitch, who owns a unit in the same building.

He had previously encouraged her to jump into politics and was a "dedicated mentor" after she was elected in the riding of Simcoe—Grey in 2011, Leitch said in a heartfelt tribute that was posted to her Facebook page.

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