Canadians signal for ‘help’ at U.S.-Canada border using lights to Morse code “SOS” and an upside-down flag

On Saturday, April 17, a group of Canadians in Niagara Falls, Ontario signaled for ‘help’ at the U.S.-Canada border using lights to Morse code “SOS” and an upside-down Canadian flag after the Ontario government announced an extension of the stay-at-home order and additional strict health measures.

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The Facebook live showed an upside-down Canadian flag directed at the U.S. border to signal ‘distress’. An upside-down flag is a universal signal of distress.

The individual in the video said “we are about to morse code ‘SOS’ across the border to our neighbours. We are asking for help. We are hostages in our province now.” 

For around 3 minutes, the group of about 50 or more individuals flashed their lights on and off to signal “SOS” at the U.S.-Canada border. 

The man in the video says the police in Canada are not “upholding their oath to protect and defend our fundamental rights and freedoms, so we are letting our neighbour know about it.”

Recently, the Ontario government announced an extension of the stay-at-home order and strict new health measures. 

On April 16, the government of Ontario initially announced strict new measures which included new provincial police powers, all outdoor gatherings with people outside your household will be banned, playgrounds closed, nearly all outdoor recreational activities to be restricted, places of worship, funerals and weddings will have a capacity limit of 10 people, non-essential construction will be halted, border-checks will be introduced at the Quebec and Manitoba borders, essential retail locations will be limited to 25% capacity, among many other new restrictions. 

Initially, the government of Ontario said that police would be given the authority to ask anyone outside or in a car why they are not at home for the mandated stay-at-home order and the police may ask for their address.

However, after fierce criticism of the new rules, some rules were amended on Saturday, April 17.

Now, police will only be able to stop individuals who they have reason to believe are attending an organized public event or social gathering.

Additionally, rules ordering the closure of playgrounds are going to be amended to keep playgrounds open. However, as of now other recreational activities and facilities will remain closed. 

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