Goodwin v. M.N.R.
(November 28, 2014 – 2014 TCC 359) dealt with whether disability pension payments constituted “insurable earnings” for the purposes of the Employment Insurance Act:
 The Appellant was employed by CP Airlines as a pilot commencing in June 1979. CP Airlines subsequently became Canadian Airlines, which was acquired by Air Canada in 2000.
 As a result of two failed treatments for what, at first, appeared to be a benign injury to his jaw in the mid 1980’s, the Appellant had to stop working as a pilot. He initially went on short-term disability but when that ran out he applied for and was accepted for long-term disability commencing in 1987. He has been on long-term disability ever since. Several years later, after a number of unsuccessful operations, the Appellant was advised that he would never function properly or be integrated back into the workforce again. Some years after that when he realized the prognosis was correct, the Appellant applied for, and was granted, a disability benefit under the Canada Pension Plan.
 That the Appellant is unable to work as a result of his condition, which has required 11 separate surgeries to his jaw and one surgery to his brain, is not contested. The Appellant testified that, as a result of his disability, he has never provided services to Air Canada. The Appellant also stated that he has no work record on file with Service Canada.
 The Appellant was not clear on the details of the long-term disability plan under which he receives long-term disability payments except to say that he thought the benefit was about 35% of his income as a pilot prior to being injured. The Appellant entered into evidence as Exhibit A-5 a copy of a T4 slip issued by Air Canada to the Appellant for his 2012 taxation year that indicates that the total amount of employment income received in 2012 was $33,015.90 or $2,751.33 per month and that the total amount of EI premiums deducted for 2012 was $604.19. The Appellant confirmed that the employment income identified on the T4 slip is the aggregate of the disability payments received by him in 2012 under the long-term disability plan.
 The Appellant did not recall entering into a new long-term disability plan when Air Canada acquired Canadian Airlines in 2000, nor did he recall entering into a written employment contract with Air Canada. However, he did recall that he was issued an employee identification number by Air Canada following the acquisition.
The Tax Court concluded that it was not necessary for Mr. Goodwin to provide services to Air Canada for the payments to constitute “insurable earnings”:
 The first question to answer is whether the Appellant is in insurable employment during the period in issue? Insurable employment would include employment by Air Canada under an express or implied contract of service whether written or oral. The Appellant testified that he became an employee of CP Air in June 1979 at which time he commenced to provide services as a commercial pilot. There is no evidence that his employment with CP Air terminated when he became disabled in the mid-1980s and was no longer able to perform his duties as a pilot. CP Air subsequently became Canadian Airlines and Canadian Airlines was acquired by Air Canada in 2000. Again, there is no evidence that his employment terminated as a result of these events. In fact, the Appellant has had an employee number with Air Canada since its acquisition of Canadian Airlines and Air Canada’s records show the Appellant as an employee of Air Canada who is on leave. The Appellant argued that he did not provide services to Air Canada but he did not argue that he was not an employee of Air Canada. In view of these facts, I find that the Appellant was an employee of Air Canada during the period in issue, which, incidentally, is one of the conditions for eligibility under the Plan (see sections 2(1) and 2(7)(a) of the Plan). The fact that the Appellant did not provide services to Air Canada because of his disability does not in and of itself alter his status as an employee of Air Canada.
 The second question to answer is whether or not Air Canada is paying the disability payments to the Appellant? The disability payments received by the Appellant are funded entirely by Air Canada through its monthly deposits in the trust account maintained for that purpose. Great-West Life issues cheques to the Appellant as servicing agent for Air Canada and draws upon the trust account to cover those cheques. Air Canada pays Great-West Life for its services and indemnifies and holds Great-West Life harmless from any loss or liability arising out of any act or omission of Air Canada in connection with the Plan. In view of these facts, I find that Air Canada pays the disability payments to the Appellant and that the Appellant, therefore, receives the disability payments from Air Canada. The fact that a person other than Air Canada may issue the cheques does not determine the identity of the person making the payment. Air Canada is making the payments through its servicing agent, Great-West Life.
 The third question to answer is whether the disability benefits are paid to the Appellant in respect of his insurable employment by Air Canada. In answering this question, the broad nature of the words “in respect of” must be taken into account. In Nowegijick v Her Majesty The Queen,  1 SCR 29, the Supreme Court of Canada observed at paragraph 30:
The words “in respect of” are, in my opinion, words of the widest possible scope. They import such meanings as “in relation to”, “with reference to” or “in connection with”. The phrase “in respect of” is probably the widest of any expression intended to convey some connection between two related subject matters.
 Although not all of the indicia identified in National Bank are found in this case, the Federal Court of Appeal stated that the list of indicia provided in that case was not exhaustive and that not all of the indicia identified in that case need be present to find that a payment is in respect of employment. In light of the indicia that I have identified, I conclude that the disability payments received by the Appellant under the Plan are paid to the Appellant by Air Canada in respect of his insurable employment by Air Canada and that, consequently, the payments are “insurable earnings” for purposes of the EIA. The fact that employment insurance premiums were not deducted from the Appellant’s disability payments in years prior to 2012 does not alter this conclusion.
As a result the appeal was dismissed, but without costs.