Credits: DARREN BROWN/QMI AGENCY
A passenger aboard a flight from Victoria to Toronto found the needle Monday. This comes just a couple of weeks after Delta Air Lines discovered sewing needles in turkey sandwiches on four flights from Amsterdam to cities in the U.S.
It's not known whether the incidents are connected.
The Air Canada passenger was not injured, but one customer on the Delta flight was.
The timing has raised eyebrows.
Labour talks have broken down with the 850 airline catering workers at Gate Gourmet Canada at Toronto's Pearson airport, who belong to Teamsters Union Local 647. Members voted 99% in favour of taking job action, which could happen Saturday.
Union vice-president Martin Cerqua strongly denied that any of his members would try to injure a passenger with a needle.
Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said Wednesday the company has launched an investigation.
"We are working closely with our caterers to ensure heightened security measures have been put in place."
Det. Malcolm Bow said his officers are in the early stages of a probe to find the culprit or culprits.
Officers want to interview passengers that were on the flight and are in the process of tracking them down. Many have since left for different parts of Canada or the U.S.
"It can be a disgruntled employee," Bow said. "That is one of the options that we are looking at."
Workers said a strike or work disruption at the airport can cause problems for Canadian Olympians returning home from the Games in London.
Cerqua said his members service flights for Air Canada, Air France, Air Transat, British Airways, El Al, Turkish Airlines, KLM and others.
"This company has been trying to undermine the collective agreement," Cerqua charged. "We are willing to meet with the company at any time to avert a strike."
David Fisher, a spokesman for Gate Gourmet, said his company is committed to reaching a fair agreement with employees.
"We hope a strike or lockout doesn't happen," Fisher said in a statement.
He said his firm will heighten food-safety procedures, including the inspection and screening of all food brought on flights.