Born in Ontario but raised in Manitoba, James Shaver Woodsworth (1874–1942), was a Methodist clergyman, social worker, politician, and the first leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. Woodsworth started out as a Methodist clergyman in 1896, but had become a social worker in Winnipeg’s North End by 1904. His experience of urban slums convinced him that socialism was the solution to poverty. Despite being fired from his position as a government social researcher in 1917 for being a pacifist and arrested for libel during the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, Woodsworth’s ideals made him a popular Winnipeg politician. His popularity led to his election as the Member of Parliament for Winnipeg North Centre in 1921, a riding that he held until his death. As a Member of Parliament, Woodsworth consistently campaigned for labour rights, improved social welfare measures and democratic socialism. Although he failed to make socialism a reality in Canada, he succeeded, in 1926–1927, in persuading Prime Minister Mackenzie King to introduce an old-age pension plan — Canada’s first social welfare legislation — in exchange for providing the votes Mackenzie King needed to stay in power.