Many Canadian politicians are paying homage to Jim Abbott following his passing this week, including former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Numerous Conservative politicians took to Twitter to offer condolences and remember the former Kootenay-Columbia MP that served the riding for 17 years with the Reform, Alliance, and Conservative Party.

Speaking to MyEastKootenayNow.com on Monday, David Wilks, the former Kootenay-Columbia MP that succeeded Abbott and is now the Mayor of Sparwood, said Abbott was close friends with Stephen Harper.

“He certainly spoke from the heart, he was very fond of his family, very fond of the Conservative movement, very close to Prime Minister Stephen Harper,” Wilks said Tuesday. “He was one that coaxed Stephen Harper into running for the Prime Minister of Canada.”

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Stephen Harper took to Twitter to offer his condolences.

On Tuesday, Rob Morrison, current Conservative MP for Kootenay-Columbia wrote a statement offering his thoughts on Abbott’s legendary political career.

“We lost a giant today. It is with a heavy heart that I received the news of the passing of The Honourable James Abbott. Jim represented this area with a distinguished level of service and was respected at the highest levels of Government. On October 15th, 2007 he was sworn in as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, and with it received the title of “Honourable”. A fitting title for a leader who embodied the very definition of the word. He represented our area with a gentle spirit and was guided by an unwavering commitment to his Constituents. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Acting Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer offered his thoughts and condolences as well.

Other prominent members of the Conservative Party recognized Abbott’s service as an MP and his dedication to the riding.

Bill Bennett, the long-time Kootenay East MLA took to Facebook on Monday to remember Abbott, who was a dear friend even if they worked at different government levels during their careers.