In 1989, the Canadian Government contacted the U.S. Department of Commerce looking for a manufacturing
project that might be interested in opening a ficility in Canada: U.S. Secretary of Commerce suggested the Amectran Corporation.
Over the next two years, the Canadian government began investigating Amectran and the EXAR-1; Coopers Lybrand was hired to do a
study and a group was formed to head the Canadian factory of Amectran's EXAR-1 Electric Automobile.
Consultants Ltd. became the organization chosen by the Canadian Government to operate the factory and over the next several months
the EXAR-1 toured western Canada. There was no question of the acceptance of the car, hundreds of Canadians rode and viewed
it...the favorable Lybrand report on the Amectran project opened the door for officials of Campbell River to request
the project for an industral park which had been built for another Canadian government sponsored program.
Pressure was place on the government since the community had spent considerable funds to build the Campbell River Industrial Park
based on the governments reports of the establishment of a facility in that location...the project went elsewhere and the community
sat with an expensive, empty and costly facility.
The community demanded the government place a project
in their industrial park: When Campbell River officials became aware of the Amectran project they began lobbying for its
placement in their facility. HBT Consultants Ltd. was formed under the auspice of Dave Brown (the B in HBT) a former attorney
general and resident of Campbell River who began the campaign.
There was no question that the Canadian government
was in a difficult position, they had the community spend it resources then reneged on the project, so it now behooved them to place
a project in the Campbell River Industrial Park to make amends: Amectran quickly became the perfect solution.
Less than a week before the government was to announce the approval of a $25 million dollar loan guarantee, HBT
officials felt that they had the government in a vunerable position and could force them into approving even more money for the project.
At the eleventh hour (see newspaper article next page and view Video following the next page )
HBT announced two new models and requested an additional $12.5 million dollars. Needless to say, the government was not happy;
thinking that Mr. Ramirez had extended the original contract without notifing them they call him in Texas. After discussing
the situation with him they discovered he knew nothing about the additional automobiles models nor had he approved alterations to
Ramirez flew to Canada the next morning: He was met at the airport by the government's
representative, who was responsible for overseeing the Amectran project. Upon arrival at the goverment's offices Ramirez was
notified that the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) had gone to investigate HBT the day before and found
memoranda between HBT partners
indicating they were going to split the additional $12.5 million dollars.
Greed had gotton the best
of them; knowing the governments position, they pushed their luck. Documents and contracts between HBT and Amectran for
the additional models were found to have Mr. Ramirez's signature forged - and eventually the entire scheme was addmitted to by
the perpetrators. In order for the government to save face, they announced that the additional models and cost must be reinvestigated
before final approval...a task estimated to take some 2 years.
This killed the interest and HBT
officials were quietly taken to court sometime much later.