Canadians are expressing their outrage and sorrow over a deadly shooting in Paris that killed 12 people Wednesday, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemning the "barbaric" attack.

French police said masked gunmen escaped after they stormed the office of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

As news of the shooting spread, Canadian politicians and dignitaries spoke out on Twitter, issuing statements condemning the fatal attack.

Harper said: "I'm horrified by the barbaric attacks in France. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families."

In a statement, he said that the perpetrators must be brought to justice, and said that the attack is a reminder that no country is "immune" to terrorism.

"Canada and its allies will not be intimidated and will continue to stand firmly together against terrorists who would threaten the peace, freedom and democracy our countries so dearly value. Canadians stand with France on this dark day," Harper said.

In a tweet, Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair said: "Shocked and disgusted by the news of a mass shooting in Paris. The world mourns with the families of the victims of this senseless violence."

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau tweeted: "We condemn today's horrific attacks in #Paris. Our condolences and support go to the people of France, the victims, and their families."

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney told reporters Wednesday that Ottawa is “following the situation closely and we have offered our support to the French people.”

“This barbaric attack is unacceptable,” Blaney said, offering his condolences to the victims and their families.

“We stand with France on this dark day,” he said.

Blaney said the attack in Paris is a reminder that “no country is immune” to terrorist attacks. He said Canada remains vigilant and stands together with its allies in the global fight against terrorism.

Widespread condemnation, support for press freedom

Mario Beaulieu, leader of the Bloc Quebecois, defended freedom of the press and expressed his solidarity with the shooting victims and their families in a tweet written in French that said: "La liberté de presse est au cœur de la démocratie #CharlieHebdo Toute notre solidarité avec les victimes du Charlie Hebdo et leurs proches."

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard called the attack “intolerable and unacceptable” in a tweet that read: “Intolérable et inacceptable. Nous ne céderons jamais au terrorisme. Nos pensées accompagnent le peuple français. #JeSuisCharlie #Québec”

Michaelle Jean, former Canadian governor general and current secretary-general of La Francophonie, condemned the attack in a tweet that read: "Je condamne avec fermeté l'attentat ce matin à Paris. Ensemble, nous devons lutter sans faille contre le terrorisme."

Lawrence Cannon, the Canadian ambassador to France, expressed his horror and condolences in a tweet that said: "Je suis horrifié par l’attaque terroriste des locaux de #ChalieHebdo. Mes pensées vont aux victimes et à leurs proches."

In its own statement, the French Embassy in Ottawa suggested the attack targeted democracy itself.

"There are no words strong enough to condemn the heinous attack that took place this morning in Paris. It is not only freedom of expression that has been attacked, but democracy as a whole,” the statement said.

"The Embassy of France in Ottawa is very moved by the solidarity that has been expressed in Canada by citizens, journalists, and by the highest levels of government. This contemptible crime has been condemned unambiguously."