Legislative Assembly photo


In the Legislative Assembly


Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was know.
Historical Information Frieda Martselos is no longer a member of the Legislative Assembly.

Last in the Legislative Assembly October 2023, as MLA for Thebacha

Lost her last election, in 2023, with 42% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Recognition Of Visitors In The Gallery October 6th, 2023

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to acknowledge Chief Edward Sangris. He will always be the chief of the Yellowknives to me. I also sat with him on the Akaitcho Territory which was when he was grand chief. We had lots of discussions. And, you know, the way the government is today compared to when it was at that time -- and I never had a lot to do with Government of the Northwest Territories at that time. It was mostly federal. And but what we had to do with government at that time was not as nice as it is today, so. And I'd also want to thank his wife Beatrice. She prayed for me a lot and kept me going, and I'm great friends with that family and will remain friends always.

I also want to recognize Chief Marlowe who is also part of the Akaitcho Territory. I look forward to a signed agreement in the near future because that's their goal, and I wish them all well, but especially the Sangris family. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 1657-19(2): Reflections on the 19th Legislative Assembly October 6th, 2023

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, today's the final day of the 19th Assembly. I know that some of the staff here have felt that this Assembly would never end. But, finally, we made it to the finish line in one piece.

Mr. Speaker, I know this Assembly has been long and eventful. Four years not only for everyone in this building but also for the people of the NWT. But as with life, there are always highs and lows and ups and downs. We all make good memories as well as bad ones but, regardless, the important thing is that we learn from our mistakes and our experiences and we keep pushing forward in a good and positive way. We cannot lose sight of what is most important within our lives, our communities, and within our broader society.

Mr. Speaker, to conclude the 19th Assembly, as the MLA for Thebacha there are a few people I'd like to thank on behalf of the people of Fort Smith.

First off, I want to thank all the interpreters that have served throughout this Assembly. I also want to thank all the current and former staff of the Legislative Assembly that have worked here throughout the 19th Assembly. I would also like to thank the Premier and Cabinet for their service in the 19th Assembly. And especially you, Mr. Speaker; love your sense of humour and your casual manner. I'd also like to thank each of the Regular Members for their contributions and perspectives during this 19th Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, I want to give a special farewell to the outgoing Members who are not seeking re-election. That includes Premier Cochrane, Minister Green, Kevin O'Reilly and, of course, Rylund Johnson. Thank you to each of you for your work in this House and to the people of the NWT.

I want to thank Pascal Erasmus, Priscilla Lepine, and Colleen O'Connor for keeping me grounded.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all the amazing constituents of Thebacha for placing their faith and trust in me to represent them here in the Legislative Assembly. It has been an honour of a lifetime to serve my community in this House, and I hope to return to the 20th Assembly to continue fighting for Fort Smith and all the people of the NWT.

And, lastly, I want to thank my husband Peter, my sons Jerry and Mickey, and of course my dog Rambo. I could not do this job without their full support every step of the way. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Committee Motion 512-19(2): Bill 80, Dental Hygienists Profession Statutes Amendment Act - amend Clause One, Defeated October 5th, 2023

Thank you, Madam Chair. I just want to make a comment, and I want to thank the Minister of Finance and the Cabinet for making sure that the fire centre is going to be constructed for the community and for the Northwest Territories. After this fire season, I think it's extremely important that we save all the data, and we support the people that work in that centre. We have some really incredible staff in that centre, and they work for the whole Northwest Territories and helped with the first -- with the first responders with -- especially with making sure that our communities were safe this summer, and we went back to our homes some of us. Some lost homes, and I'm very sorry that that happened to some of the communities.

Finance must be a tough job because I know how it is when things are, you know, not all in the -- in the black and you have to decide on what is important and what isn't. And I'm sure that people all -- when this budget was put together that people thought about it very carefully. And of course I like the budget. Thank you, Madam Chair.

Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters October 5th, 2023

I want to thank the chair for recognizing me. I just want to make a couple comments.

Fort Smith is a regional centre, and we have no dentists or no dental anything there right now. The dentist that used to come has stopped coming since I think way before Christmas of last year. That's a large community and, you know, we have a lot going on there, and I'm very concerned about the dental services that we need in that community and have, you know, the absence of the oral health that is required and, you know -- and we have to also look at the whole issue of ways of life and people -- people who do -- or have substance abuse. The decay in their -- within their health system is -- it's just not there. They don't -- they have -- they don't -- they're not even covered to get their teeth fixed properly when something -- and they want to change their lifestyle. It's always there. And so, you know, dental health is probably one of the most important things that -- to make sure that a person is healthy and well. It not only affects Indigenous people. It affects everybody. You know, I have a big population in -- in the community of Thebacha and Fort Smith. And dental services are lacking, and we have no -- the chair is there. There's an office there but there's no dentist. And it's a major problem that we face for the community. And so with this, I'm going to be supporting the bill that has -- the Private Member's bill. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Question 1623-19(2): Affirmative Acton Hiring Policy October 5th, 2023

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister tell us what she thinks the next government or next Minister should do on this file when it comes to any potential changes to the Affirmative Action Policy? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1623-19(2): Affirmative Acton Hiring Policy October 5th, 2023

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister tell us if the future Affirmative Action Policy will also include an appeal board, an appeal board process for applicants to consider if they wish. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1623-19(2): Affirmative Acton Hiring Policy October 5th, 2023

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister confirm whether the government's work that has gone into repealing and replacing the Affirmative Action Policy will be lost after the end of this Assembly? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Question 1623-19(2): Affirmative Acton Hiring Policy October 5th, 2023

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, can the finance minister confirm if the government intends to repeal and replace the Affirmative Action Policy before the start of the 20th Assembly, including any actions that may occur during the election period? Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 1643-19(2): Affirmative Action Hiring Policy October 5th, 2023

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, for my statement today I want to revisit a topic that I have spoken about many times during the 19th Assembly, and that subject is the Affirmative Action Policy.

Mr. Speaker, I know That the Minister of finance just tabled a What We Heard report last week regarding the government's review of the Affirmative Action Policy. I understand that the report concluded that the Government of the Northwest Territories should repeal affirmative action and replace it with a new policy that prioritizes the hiring of Indigenous people connected to the NWT first; and, then priorities all Indigenous Canadians at large.

Well, Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to state plainly and clearly that I welcome all Indigenous people that were not born in the NWT but are living and working across the territory today. These individuals are most welcome. The point I am getting at here, Mr. Speaker, is that with any repeal and replacement of the Affirmative Action Policy, the government must keep in mind several key aspects of the policy as well as the original intent on whom the policy was meant to serve. Those were Priority 1s, 2s and 3s.

Mr. Speaker, I have always cared deeply about the health and well-being and advancement of Indigenous people, but I also care about non-Indigenous people. And within the existing Affirmative Action Policy, non-Indigenous people who were either born within the NWT and who live in the NWT more than half of their life will qualify under the policy. That is an aspect of the policy I have always been in favour of and will continue to be in favour of. However, in the future when a policy is initiated and made official, I hope it will consider any person who has lived at least ten years or more within the Northwest Territories and that secondary priority hiring will be provided to them.

Ultimately, Mr. Speaker, priority hiring in the NWT comes down to human resources doing their job right. Managers and hiring teams cannot continue to hire their friends or their family members. The appeal board also needs to be a neutral, fair, ethical, and transparent body that is approachable by the average person.

I could go on, Mr. Speaker, but I will leave it at that for now and hopefully the next Assembly, if I do return to this House, I will continue to address this topic down the road. I will have questions for the Minister of finance at the appropriate time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Committee Motion 501-19(2): Bill 85: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Implementation Act - amend subclause 8(2), Defeated October 4th, 2023

I too feel very -- you know, government to government is very important with this whole bill, okay. Government to government is the governments that -- the Indigenous all have their own governments. They make decisions in one day. They don't wait ten years. And so, you know, I always say that, and government to government relationship is really important. I think we have a role -- a different role. If something went wrong or someone said something that just wasn't quite right, I mean, you're already called on to the carpet to advocate on behalf of that First Nation as an MLA. I think we have roles to play all over. I played those roles with all the First Nations that are in my area. And you know, if they certainly let me know when something is not quite right. I mean, that's part of our role. And I appreciate that role because, you know -- and being a First Nation leader for many years, I see that as -- it's a different part of my role now but I understand the whole way it comes about. Less interference is great because, you know, First Nations don't -- you know, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. They have some -- they have pretty smart leaders. They've been through the mill. They've had -- a lot of people say no to them without really listening to both sides.

Our leaders, don't take them for granted, okay. The Indigenous leaders are extremely brilliant. I've worked with some extremely brilliant leaders, just like I'm working with extremely brilliant people around this table. And never take anybody for granted because, you know, I always say, even in business, you never know which door you're going to have to knock on. Always leave the door open. And I don't think that it is our role to be going to observe or try to influence in any way, shape, or form a decision that is being put forward on a working paper that the Indigenous government and our government has got to make a decision on. And, yes, they will inform us of that decision, I'm sure, because we'll make sure of that, right, as Regular Members. So that's my two cents, Madam Chair.