Canadian politicians are expressing their sympathies to the family of Arizona Senator John McCain, who has died of brain cancer at the age of 81.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter that Mr. McCain was an American patriot and hero whose sacrifices for his country, and lifetime of public service, were an inspiration to millions.
Senator John McCain was an American patriot and hero whose sacrifices for his country, and lifetime of public service, were an inspiration to millions. Canadians join Americans tonight in celebrating his life and mourning his passing.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 26, 2018
Conservative party Leader Andrew Scheer praised Mr. McCain on Twitter, writing his decades of service in defence of freedom crossed party lines and touched freedom-loving people across borders.
Sad to learn of the passing of @SenJohnMcCain. His decades of service in defence of freedom crosses party lines and touches freedom-loving people across borders. On behalf of @CPC_HQ, I extend my condolences to his loved ones.— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) August 26, 2018
Former prime minister Stephen Harper also expressed his sympathies, calling Mr. McCain an American hero, while former Progressive Conservative party leader Peter MacKay tweeted that freedom loving people everywhere are mourning the heartbreaking loss of a true voice for integrity and civility.
Laureen and I are saddened to learn of the untimely loss of a great American hero, Senator John McCain. His valour comes second only to his service and dedication to family and country. May he Rest In Peace.— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) August 26, 2018
“Senator McCain was a great friend to Canada and a true statesman whose intelligence, tenacity and courage were unmatched,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote on Twitter.
It was a privilege to have known Senator John McCain. I will remember my visits to the Sedona Forum fondly. Senator McCain was a great friend to Canada and a true statesman whose intelligence, tenacity and courage were unmatched. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/NaEmDBM7es— Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) August 26, 2018
Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is remembering Mr. McCain as “a committed friend of Canada.”
Mr. Mulroney said in a statement that the Arizona senator, “would always come down on the side of his friendship with us.”
As recently as June, Mr. McCain tweeted his support for Canada after U.S. President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Trudeau weak and dishonest.
The Republican Senator wrote, “To our allies ... Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.”
Mr. McCain, an avowed free-trader, had long supported renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement, going so far as to make an unprecedented trip to Ottawa in the midst of his 2008 campaign for president to deliver a speech that called for expanding the tripartisan agreement.
Speaking to the Economic Club of Canada months ahead of the election, Mr. McCain lauded the pact for doubling cross-border trade, creating 25 million jobs in the United States and four million in Canada.
But he said there’s more work to do, including resolving border delays that create “a serious impediment to trade, the equivalent of a tariff.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Presidents past and present joined members of Congress from both parties and world leaders in mourning Mr. McCain and praising him for a lifetime of service and accomplishments.
President Donald Trump, who once criticized fellow Republican McCain for being taken prisoner during the Vietnam War, said his “deepest sympathies and respect” went out to McCain’s family.
My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2018
A black hearse, accompanied by a police motorcade, could be seen driving away from the ranch near Sedona, Ariz., where Mr. McCain spent his final weeks. For 50 miles along Interstate 17 southbound, on every overpass and at every exit ramp, people watched the procession. Hundreds, including many waving American flags, parked their cars and got out to watch.
Mr. Trump’s brief Twitter statement said “hearts and prayers” are with the McCain family.
Mr. Trump and Mr. McCain were at odds until the end. The President, who as a candidate in 2016 mocked McCain’s capture in Vietnam, had jabbed at the ailing senator for voting against Republican efforts to roll back former president Barack Obama’s health care law.
Earlier this summer, Mr. McCain issued a blistering statement criticizing Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Former presidents, including those who blocked Mr. McCain’s own White House ambitions, offered emotional tributes.
Mr. Obama, who triumphed over Mr. McCain in 2008, said that despite their differences, Mr. McCain and he shared a “fidelity to something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed.”
Our statement on the passing of Senator John McCain: pic.twitter.com/3GBjNYxoj5— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 26, 2018
Mr. Obama said they “saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world.”
Former president George W. Bush, who defeated Mr. McCain for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, called Mr. McCain a “man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order” and a “friend whom I’ll deeply miss.”
"Some lives are so vivid, it is difficult to imagine them ended. Some voices are so vibrant, it is hard to think of them stilled. John McCain was a man of deep conviction and a patriot of the highest order.” [...] Full statement by President George W. Bush https://t.co/FQVYWIUyGL pic.twitter.com/W8LCxJXRLi— George W. Bush Presidential Center (@TheBushCenter) August 26, 2018
Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush are among those expected to speak at Mr. McCain’s funeral. Mr. McCain is expected to be remembered at ceremonies in Arizona and Washington before being buried, likely this coming week, at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery on a peninsula overlooking the Severn River in Annapolis, Md.
"John McCain was a man of honor, a true patriot in the best sense of the word. Americans will be forever grateful for his heroic military service and for his steadfast integrity as a member of the... https://t.co/Wum99ExI40— Jimmy Carter Library (@CarterLibrary) August 26, 2018
Tributes poured in from around the globe.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted in English that Mr. McCain “was a true American hero. He devoted his entire life to his country.” Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Mr. McCain’s support for the Jewish state “never wavered. It sprang from his belief in democracy and freedom.” And Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, called Mr. McCain “a tireless fighter for a strong trans-Atlantic alliance. His significance went well beyond his own country.”
John McCain was a true American hero. He devoted his entire life to his country. His voice will be missed. Our respectful thoughts go to his beloved ones.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) August 26, 2018
His support for Israel never waivered. It sprang from his belief in democracy and freedom. The State of Israel salutes John McCain.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) August 26, 2018
Mr. McCain was the son and grandson of admirals and followed them to the U.S. Naval Academy. A pilot, he was shot down over Vietnam and held as a prisoner of war for more than five years. He went on to win a seat in the House and in 1986, the Senate, where he served for the rest of his life.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader, Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell, called McCain a “fascinating personality.”
“He would occasionally be in a bad place with various members, including myself, and when this would blow over it was like nothing ever happened,” Mr. McConnell said Saturday after a GOP state dinner in Lexington, Ky. “He also had a wicked sense of humour and it made every tense moment come out better.”
.@SenJohnMcCain was a leader & public servant of deep patriotism, outstanding bravery & undaunted spirit. Throughout his career, we all saw his integrity, humility, courage & grace. May it be a comfort to his family to know that so many around the world mourn with them.— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) August 26, 2018
Former vice-president Joe Biden, who developed a friendship with Mr. McCain while they served together in the Senate, said the Arizona lawmaker will “cast a long shadow.”
“The spirit that drove him was never extinguished: we are here to commit ourselves to something bigger than ourselves,” Mr. Biden said
John McCain was many things – a proud graduate of the Naval Academy, a Senate colleague, a political opponent.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 26, 2018
But, to me, more than anything, John was a friend. He will be missed dearly. pic.twitter.com/AS8YsMLw3d
The Senate’s top Democrat, New York’s Chuck Schumer, said he wants to rename the Senate building that housed Mr. McCain’s suite of offices after the Senator.
“As you go through life, you meet few truly great people. John McCain was one of them,” Schumer said. “Maybe most of all, he was a truth teller - never afraid to speak truth to power in an era where that has become all too rare.”
Mr. McCain was a war veteran who was captured in North Vietnam in 1967 and endured years of torture and abuse.
He died on Saturday after battling brain cancer for more than a year.