Porotti v. R. – The worker was an independent contractor for EI/CPP purposes

Bill Innes on Current Tax Cases

http://decision.tcc-cci.gc.ca/tcc-cci/decisions/en/item/73293/index.do New Window

Porotti v. The Queen (September 5, 2014 – 2014 TCC 267) was an appeal by the worker from the Minister’s decision that she was an independent contractor for EI/CPP purposes.


[2] Royal Ascot is a privately-owned long term care facility. Ms. Porotti became engaged by the corporation in 2007 to implement a computerized resident assessment system that had been recently mandated by the B.C. government. Ms. Porotti’s position, called clinical lead, was funded by the government and was expected to last about two years.

[3] The project lasted a year longer than expected, but Ms. Porotti stayed on further to implement additional computer projects for Royal Ascot.

[4] In 2012, the relationship abruptly ended after Ms. Porotti and Royal Ascot had a falling out concerning the collection of goods and services tax.

After concluding that Ms. Porotti’s evidence was unreliable, the court concluded that the intention of the parties was that the worker would be an independent contractor:

(b) Intention

[9] The first question is the intent of the parties. Despite the testimony of Ms. Porotti to the contrary, I find that the parties clearly intended an independent contractor relationship.

[10] The evidence reveals that the parties continuously treated the relationship as an independent contractor relationship, which was also consistent with Royal Ascot’s policy when hiring non-nursing staff. No tax was withheld, Ms. Porotti provided invoices, her resume described herself as being self-employed, and Ms. Porotti attempted to collect GST.

[11] Since I have found Ms. Porotti’s testimony to be unreliable, it is clear that the mutual intent of the parties was an independent contractor relationship. I now turn to the Wiebe Door analysis to determine whether the intent is consistent with the objective reality.

The court then reviewed the Wiebe Door factors and concluded that they supported the general intention of parties that Ms. Porotti was to be an independent contractor.

The appeal was accordingly dismissed.