Rizzo v. M.N.R.
(April 27, 2015 – 2015 TCC 103, Masse, DJ).
Précis: Ms. Rizzo taught in China from August 27, 2012 to November 16, 2012 where she was employed by a Chinese entity, Oxstand-Bond International College (“Oxstand”). She returned to Canada once her employment was terminated and she applied for EI benefits which were denied. She appealed to the Tax Court. The Tax Court held that she was not engaged in insurable or pensionable employment during the period in question since she was neither employed in Canada nor deemed to be employed in Canada.
Decision: Ms. Rizzo negotiated her contract to teach in China through a Canadian group:
The Employer, [Oxstand] operated a school that provided students in the People’s Republic of China with the Ontario curriculum and authorized high school credits towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Oxstand is registered with the Ontario Ministry of Education through the Ontario Ministry’s Overseas School Division. Oxstand is a registered business in China and is located at 2040 Buxin Road, Luohu District, Shenzhen, in the People’s Republic of China. Oxstand does not have a business presence in Canada although related entities, such as Bond International College, Bond Schools International and Bond Education Group, do have a business presence in Canada.
 The Intervenor, Bond International College (henceforth “BIC”), is located at 1500 Birchmount Road in Toronto. It is a private school registered with the Ontario Ministry of Education. BIC is authorized to grant credits towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. BIC is categorical in its assertion that it is not and never was the Appellant’s employer.
 Bond Schools International (henceforth “BSI”), also located at 1500 Birchmount Road in Toronto, provides advice to schools in China that want to offer a Canadian curriculum and Canadian Secondary School Diplomas in China. BSI is a registered business in China and I find that BSI also has a business presence in Canada. BSI has an agreement with Oxstand to recruit and recommend teachers from Ontario who want to teach in China.
 Bond Education Group (henceforth “BEG”) is also located at 1500 Birchmount Road in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Hugh McKeown is the Director of International Programs for BEG and he is also the Canadian Superintendent on behalf of Oxstand. Mr. McKeown had the task of assuring parents that there was a Canadian educator providing advice on behalf of Oxstand. According to Mr. McKeown, BEG is an umbrella group.
 On July 23, 2012, the Appellant entered into a contract with Oxstand whereby she agreed to go to the People’s Republic of China in order to teach (see Exhibit A 1). This contract was for a term of two years commencing August 15, 2012 through to August 15, 2014. This contract of employment was quite comprehensive including provisions for airfare, accommodations, medical benefits, and so on. Oxstand agreed to provide all reasonable assistance to the Appellant to obtain a visa, work permit or resident card and to pay all related fees. Oxstand also agreed to pay on behalf of the Appellant all relevant Chinese taxes. The parties to this contract agreed that the contract “shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Peoples’ [sic
] Republic of China” and the parties “submit to the jurisdiction of the Courts of the Peoples’ [sic
] Republic of China in respect to liabilities and claims hereunder.” The Appellant signed the contract on her own behalf and Mr. Hugh McKeown, of BEG, signed for and on behalf of Oxstand. Mr. McKeown states that he and BEG were authorized by Oxstand to recruit, contract for and obtain the services of Ontario qualified teachers to go and teach in China. However, Mr. McKeown is firm that neither he, BEG, BIC nor BSI were the Appellant’s employer; Mr. McKeown and BEG only acted as agent for Oxstand to recruit the services of teachers for an
The Court held however that Ms. Rizzo was employed by Oxstand, not by any of the Canadian companies:
To repeat, I am in agreement with the Minister’s decision that the employer, Oxstand, did not have a place of business in Canada during the Period and that the Appellant was not ordinarily resident in Canada during the Period. The Appellant’s employment services were performed outside Canada with a non Canadian employer, and could not be included in pensionable or insurable earnings. Therefore, the Appellant’s employment did not meet the requirements of subs. 16(1) of the CPPR
or s. 5 of the EIR
during the Period. Therefore, the Appellant was not employed in pensionable employment within the meaning of the CPP
or insurable earnings within the meaning of the EIA
during the Period.
The appeals were dismissed.