In an effort to help gather “quick-start recommendations from a wide array of experts,” Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has launched his his Opioid Emergency Task Force.
“More than 30 people every month are dying,” said Stewart.
“The Opioid Emergency Task Force will rapidly gather the best recommendations from experts on the front lines of this crisis on how the City of Vancouver can use its resources to save lives.”
The Task Force was approved unanimously by City Council on November 14 and terms of reference were subsequently circulated to city councillors.
Its creation was one of Stewart’s campaign platform during the recent civic election.
The Mayor has invited each member of the Community Action Team (CAT) to participate in the Task Force by asking them to identify their top five recommendations for action. Once recommendations are gathered, the CAT will be asked to rank the proposed options.
“These are our friends and neighbours and we must take action immediately,” said Stewart.
In addition to CAT members, Indigenous leaders and community members; people with lived experience; health, addictions research, housing and service operations providers and experts; City staff; first responders; and other identified community members will be asked to participate.
A survey asking for recommendations will be distributed and a final report to City Council will be presented by the Mayor on December 18 with quick actions that can be implemented under the City’s jurisdiction and authority.