Gregor Robertson to lead mayoral task force on fentanyl crisis

The taks force will meet with federal ministers to discuss experiences in their cities

Big city mayors will meet with federal ministers to discuss experiences in their cities

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson will lead a group of big city Canadian mayors as they meet with federal ministers to discuss the opioid crisis in their cities. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Mayors from a dozen major Canadian cities have launched a task force to tackle the opioid crisis.

The big city mayors' caucus of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities wants to share experiences and best practices in an effort to stem the escalating number of overdose deaths.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson will head the initiative.

The task force will meet with federal Health Minister Jane Philpott and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, though a date has not yet been set.

Representatives from the provinces and territories will also be invited to attend.

Opioid overdose deaths surged in 2016, with 914 people losing their lives last year in British Columbia, including 142 in December alone.