Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Edward Bennett

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


In the present study, an attempt is made to integrate the diverse literature pertaining to host country resettlement and refugee mental health in Canada. A historical perspective is provided, reviewing the checkered Canadian responses to international refugee movements and the various influences on the humanitarian aims of refugee policy. A model is then developed, drawing on the literature of multiple academic disciplines. The models constitutes a critical generative theory whereby the resettlement issues of assimilationism, racial prejudice, employment difficulties, and domestic political pressures are respectively linked to the filtering processes of ideology, race, economics, and international diplomacy. A test of the model is then undertaken by examining two newspapers, The Globe and Mail and The Vancouver Sun, at two critical junctures in the development of Canada’s refugee policy. That is, letters to the editor and editorials are examined from 1947, when there were general calls for a more open immigration/refugee policy and in 1987, when there was public pressure to enact tighter restrictions on the entrance of refugees. General support was found for the model. However, there were substantial differences in terms of public and media responses across the Canadian regions as well as across time periods. Implications for action from a community psychology perspective are then suggested, both at the micro-level and at the macro-level.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season