01/27/2015 04:00 EST | Updated 03/28/2015 05:59 EDT

Toronto area passes hurdle to becoming country's first National Urban Park

OTTAWA - A region of Toronto is en route to becoming the country's first national urban park.

The House of Commons has passed the Rouge National Urban Park Act which provides the protection for the Rouge Valley.

The bill will now go to the Senate for review.

The Rouge National Urban Park Act is designed to protect the Rouge's ecosystems and cultural landscapes, maintain native wildlife and ensure the health of those ecosystems.

The bill gives Parks Canada the legislative framework to protect the park's ecosystems, wildlife, flora, fossils, artifacts, and other natural and cultural resources.

Under this legislation, hunting, mineral extraction, dumping, polluting, harassing wildlife, poaching and the removal of artifacts and fossils are prohibited.

The government says stiff fines and year-round patrols will help address long-standing dumping, pollution, poaching and vandalism issues.